Giving vitamin D to elderly patients in nursing homes could help to reduce the number of falls, a study has revealed.
Around 50 per cent of nursing home residents suffer from falls each year and there has recently been much debate about ways in which to improve care of the elderly.
The new research suggests that elderly patients who take a high daily dose of vitamin D experience 72 per cent fewer falls than those given a placebo.
Study authors Kerry Broe and Douglas Kiel confirmed that "a simple vitamin D supplement could improve the quality of life for nursing home residents by reducing the incidence of falls".
They added that the finding "may be due to a possible strengthening effect the vitamin has on the musculoskeletal system".
The research also revealed that the most effective level of the vitamin, 800 international units per day, is higher than that typically given to seniors.
The study is published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
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