The Benefits Of Vitamin D On Gait, Muscle Strength And Balance In Older Adults

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The usefulness of vitamin D is increasingly being explored and as a result better studies are being collated and brought into publication. A study published the Journal of the American Geriatric Society in Dec 2011 reveals that Vit D status is linked to physical functionality and represents a suitable replacement option. Whilst the dose recommended is modest, it is able to record an improvement, higher levels may provide greater benefit depending on base line levels.

Objectives:

To systematically review and quantitatively synthesize the effect of vitamin D supplementation on muscle strength, gait, and balance in older adults.[1]

Design:

Systematic review and meta-analysis.

Setting: medline, embase,

Cochrane Library, bibliographies of selected articles, and previous systematic reviews were searched between January 1980 and November 2010 for eligible articles.

Participants:

Older adults (>/=60) participating in randomised controlled trials of the effect of supplemental vitamin D without an exercise intervention on muscle strength, gait, and balance.

Measurements:

Data were independently extracted, and study quality was evaluated. Meta-analysis using a fixed-effects model was performed and the I(2) statistic was used to assess heterogeneity.

Results:

Of 714 potentially relevant articles, 13 met the inclusion criteria. In the pooled analysis, vitamin D supplementation yielded a standardized mean difference of -0.20 (95% confidence interval (CI) = -0.39 to -0.01, P = .04, I(2) = 0%) for reduced postural sway, -0.19 (95% CI = -0.35 to -0.02, P = .03, I(2) = 0%) for decreased time to complete the Timed Up and Go Test, and 0.05 (95% CI = -0.11 to 0.20, P = .04, I(2) = 0%) for lower extremity strength gain.

Regarding dosing frequency regimen, only one study demonstrated a beneficial effect on balance with a single large dose. All studies with daily doses of 800 IU or more demonstrated beneficial effects on balance and muscle strength.

Conclusion:

Supplemental vitamin D with daily doses of 800 to 1,000 IU consistently demonstrated beneficial effects on strength and balance. An effect on gait was not demonstrated, although further evaluation is recommended.

Reference


[1] Muir SW, Montero-Odasso M. Effect of vitamin D supplementation on muscle strength, gait and balance in older adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2011 Dec;59(12):2291-300. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2011.03733.x. (Review) View Abstract

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