Approximately 1/3 of women over 65 fall each year, and 6% get a fracture as a result of the fall. But a new study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine
has found that vitamin D supplements
, in addition to calcium supplements, were associated with a 23% reduced risk of falling in the winter and spring.
The main source of vitamin D comes from UVB rays from the sun. There's growing consensus that vitamin D reference intakes need to be increased, based on evidence that vitamin D insufficiency is widespread. It's of particular concern in the winter in northern cities such as Boston or New York, where there aren't enough UVB rays during the winter to form vitamin D.
Source: R.L. Prince, N. Austin et al. Effects of Ergocalciferol Added to Calcium on the Risk of Falls in Elderly High-Risk Women. Archives of Internal Medicine. (2008) 168.1: 103-108.