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 reduces the risk of falls in older adults

    elderly fallResearchers from the University Hospital Zurich, in Switzerland reviewed the evidence.

    First, the details.

    • Data from 8 well-designed studies of older people receiving a defined oral dose of supplemental vitamin D were combined for a meta-analysis.
      • Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) or vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol)
      • Or, an active form of vitamin D (1{alpha}-hydroxyvitamin D3 (1{alpha}-hydroxycalciferol) or 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol)

    And, the results.

    • High doses of vitamin D (700-1000 IU a day) reduced fall risk by 19%.
    • Those people with blood levels of 25(OH)D concentrations of 60 nmol/L or higher had a 23% fall reduction.
    • Falls were not reduced by low doses (less than 700 IU/day supplemental vitamin D or by blood 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations of less than 60 nmol/day.
    • Active forms of vitamin D reduced fall risk by 22%.

    The bottom line?
    The authors tell us that these findings support earlier study results.

    Active forms of vitamin D do not appear to be more effective for fall prevention than 700-1000 IU of supplemental vitamin D.

    10/9/09 22:07 JR

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