STATES CHRONICLE – Fortunately, modern medicine is being developed constantly, with new discoveries being made every day by teams of researchers all over the world. But occasionally, something turns out to be a mistake, and this is what happened as a team of researchers from Zurich discovered that increased doses of vitamin D are bad for the elderly.
Worldwide, vitamin D is used commonly as a treatment for brittle bones, most especially in the elderly. Because bones generally start to grow weaker with age, doctors recommend the intake of vitamin, either naturally or as supplements, so as to protect against bone deterioration, fractures, and falls.
The research was conducted by a team of scientists led by Dr. Heike Bischoff-Ferrari, chair of geriatrics and aging research at the University Hospital Zurich, and it focused on finding out what quantity is optimal for consumption in the case of elderly citizens.
Assuming that a higher dosage than the recommended 800 international units a day (IU), or 24,000 a month would be better for the elderly, the team was in for quite a surprise.
The study consisted of a sample of 200 men and women over 70 years of age, all with at least one episode of falling down in their metaphorical portfolio. The observational period of the study lasted for a year.
The subjects were divided into three groups, each taking a different quantity of vitamin D. One group took the regular monthly recommended quantity of 24,000 IU a month, while a second group took more than double the recommended quantity, with 60,000 IU.
Meanwhile, the third group took the recommended 24,000 international units a month, as well as 300 mg of calcifediol, which is a more concentrated and broken down incarnation of vitamin D, more easily assimilated by the bones and muscles.
Contrary to what the researchers expected, it turned out that the group that experienced the least amount of falls was the first group, the one taking the recommended dosage. Around 48% of the first group experienced subsequent falls, compared to around 70% of the second and third groups.
Additionally, the subjects in the first group showed improved muscle strength and bone resistance, suggesting that despite most of the subjects experiencing vitamin D deficiencies, the recommended dosage is still the best.
The only reason the researchers were able to come up with regarding the increased propensity of the other two groups towards falling was that the increase levels of vitamin D gave them more energy, letting them move around more, and thus allowing for more chances of falling down.
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