New Delhi: Contrary to the popular belief, Vitamin D supplements are of no benefit to the people over 70, a recent study suggests. Older people are often encouraged to take supplements of vitamin D to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy. The researchers have now suggested that there is little benefit for those over 70 taking higher dose vitamin D supplements to improve their bone strength and reduce the risk of falls.
Vitamin D deficiency is common in older people, and it may lead to bone loss, impairment of muscle function and an increased risk of falls and fractures. The research, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, revealed that there was no change in BMD over 12 months between the three doses.
However, the study did show that doses equivalent to 40 µg a day are safe in an older population and there was a beneficial effect on bone metabolism up to the highest dose. "I would suggest that older people should focus on maintaining a healthy, balanced diet, adequate sun exposure and take regular exercise to keep their bones as strong as possible. While some may need to take vitamin D supplements, there is little benefit to taking more than 10 µg a day," said Terry Aspray, lead researcher of the study.