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Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2008 Dec;78(6):286-92. doi: 10.1024/0300-9831.78.6.286.

Importance of vitamin D and calcium at older age.

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  • 1Centre on Aging and Mobility, University Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.


We review the potential of vitamin D for the prevention of falls and fractures. Evidence from randomized-controlled trials will be reviewed for both endpoints, as well as epidemiologic data that correlates higher 25-hydroxyvitamin D status with better bone and muscle health. This review summarizes the compelling dual benefit of vitamin D on bone and muscle health, a concept that is unique and important for optimal fracture prevention at higher age. We will review sources of vitamin D and calcium and also outline why calcium supplementation alone may not contribute to fracture prevention at higher age. This review concludes that vitamin D at a dose of at least 800 IU per day should be provided to all postmenopausal women and everybody starting at age 60 for optimal bone and muscle health. In combination with a vitamin D supplement, dairy products may be an optimal source of calcium at higher age as milk provides both calcium and protein.

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