The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Vitamin D to reduce the risk of falls in nursing home residents

    Factors that place nursing home residents at high risk of falling are intuitive (eg, wandering behavior, use of a cane or walker, deterioration in daily activities). A history of falls is the strongest risk factor.

    Might vitamin D supplementation reduce this risk?

    If the dose is high enough, the answer is yes, according to this study.

    • 124 nursing home residents (average age 89) receive one of four vitamin D supplement doses (200, 400, 600, or 800 International Units [IUs]) or placebo daily for 5 months.
    • Those taking 800 IU had a significant 72% lower rate of falls vs placebo over the 5 months.
    • The other doses had no effect.

    Recommended daily doses of vitamin D are summarized here.

    A concise review of falls in nursing homes is presented here. Dr. Heike Bischoff-Ferrari from the Institute of Physical Medicine in Zurich, Switzerland presents a thorough review of the effect of vitamin D on falls here.

    3/2/07 19:22 JR

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