News

Adequate vitamin D levels may reduce frailty risk

December 17, 2010

Maintaining defined vitamin D blood levels can reduce the incidence of frailty in older women, suggests a new US study.

In the observational study, the relationship between blood levels of vitamin D and the risk of frailty was investigated in 4,551 women of at least 69 years (1). After 4.5 years, women with vitamin D (25(OH)D) levels between 20.0 and 29.9 ng/ml (50-75 nmol/L) showed the lowest risk of frailty. Levels above or below this range were associated with an increased likelihood of frailty. The researchers commented that the maintenance of adequate serum 25(OH)D levels in the elderly population is clinically important and that, based on existing evidence, vitamin D supplementation should be targeted to reach these levels.

The findings are consistent with other observational studies that imply that optimal serum 25(OH)D concentrations for preventing frailty range between 20 and 30 ng/ml. Experts commented that the dose-response relationship, presence or absence of a threshold, and the possibility of harm at both lower and higher levels of vitamin D intake require randomized controlled trials of sufficient duration accurately quantifying the health effects of vitamin D supplementation on frailty.

References

  1. Ensrud K. E. et al. Circulating 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Levels and Frailty Status in Older Women. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. 2010; 95: 5266–5273.