Are Nutrtitional Deficiencies Causing Falls in the Elderly?

Bone fractures due to falls are a real problem in our society, we often think of falls being caused by tripping or objects that mysteriously appear before us, but research suggests other things may be to blame.

In a study published in the journal Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, it was discovered that folic acid deficiency was significantly correlated with risk of fall. In fact for every one point drop in blood levels of folic acid there was a 19% increase in risk of fall.

In addition to folic acid deficiency, vitamin D was also correlated with risks of falling, as was a history of depression

Is folic acid deficiency to blame for many falls in the elderly? Well, even with this research I could not be sure. Is it possible that people with low folate have some other dietary or lifestyle situation that is correlated with the risk? Yes, it’s  possible, but…

Why take the risk? Folic acid and vitamin D are inexpensive, free from side effects and beneficial on many levels.

Simply make sure that you are getting 1 mg of activated folic acid called 5-tetrahyrdofolate (5-MTHF for short) in your supplement program, or get a multi that contains 800 mcg of this B-vitamin. I also recommend 4,000 to 5,000 iu of vitamin D for most seniors.

Reference:

  • Ann Nutr Metab, 2009; 54(1): 59-66

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