The vitamin D is one of the nutrients essential for people’s health. Thus, among the main functions of this nutrient, its ability to improve the absorption of calcium , a mineral key to health of the bones .
In this sense, vitamin D deficiency is one of the risk factors most important for the onset of osteoporosis, a disease that mainly affects older people.
Now, a study published by the journal The BMJ determines that the increase in the intake of foods rich in calcium and protein, such as milk, cheese or yogurt, decreases by 33% falls and fractures in elderly people living in residences.
Thus, in addition to eating foods rich in calcium, an ideal way to have adequate levels of this mineral is to have optimal levels of vitamin D in the body.
Calcium and vitamin D against osteoporosis
According to l Researchers, older adults living in nursing homes tend to have a deficient intake of calcium and protein. This fact is a risk factor for weak bones and causes an increased risk of falls and fractures.
Thus, in the absence of studies in this regard, a group of researchers from the United States, Australia and the Netherlands set themselves the objective of analyze whether to have a recommended daily intake of calcium (1. 300 mg) and Protein (1 g / kg of body weight) thanks to food sources helps reduce the risk of fragility fractures and falls among the elderly.
This study lasted two years and participated 72 Australian senior citizens. Specifically, the participation was 7. 195 residents with a level of high vitamin D, but with a lower calcium and protein intake than recommended. A 72% of the participants were women with an average of 86 years.
With all this, randomly, to the participants of 30 centers were provided with milk, yogurt and cheese to achieve the recommended daily intake of calcium and protein. Meanwhile, in the rest of the centers they continued with their usual decrease in terms of calcium and protein consumption.
Reduction of fractures in a 33%
Thus after the study a reduction of the 46% for all bone fractures, a decrease of 46% for hip fractures and a 20% for falls. However, a significant difference in mortality between the two groups could not be determined from all causes.
The researchers say that the reduction in the risk of fractures was similar to that observed in other clinical trials with the use of a potent drug to increase bone strength in people with osteoporosis.
Therefore, in addition to having optimal levels of vitamin D, experts claim that increasing the levels of calcium and protein intake through dairy products is an easily accessible intervention that reduces the risk of falls and fractures that usually occur in institutionalized older adults.
Finally , the authors of this study point out that this nutritional intervention has broad implications as a public health measure for the prevention of fractures in the setting of care for the elderly and, potentially, in the community in general.