High-dose vitamin D supplementation does not improve lower-extremity function and increases the risk for falls among elderly adults. This is the result of a randomized clinical trial of 200 men and women aged 70 or older who had experienced at least one low-trauma fall in the prior year. Two high vitamin D doses monthly were compared with a standard dose of 24,000 IU of vitamin D3 per month (equivalent to the currently recommended 800 IU per day). Subjects taking the higher doses showed no improvements in lower-extremity function and were more likely to have a second fall (P = .048) in the subsequent year.
The study is published online January 4 in JAMA Internal Medicine by Heike A Bischoff-Ferrari, from the University Hospital of Zurich, Switzerland, and colleagues.