The Nursing Home Perspective: Vitamin D’s Benefits

Vitamin D is a good for your health. Musculoskeletal problems are more common in those with vitamin D deficiency/insufficiency. This includes osteoporosis and increased fracture risk, reduced muscle function, and falls.

A large number of residents in nursing homes are affected by osteoporosis. Osteoporosis, a bone disease that is associated with low bone mass and increased fracture risk, is common. Ten million Americans suffer from osteoporosis, while 34 million are affected by osteopenia. According to estimates, 70-85% of people who live in nursing homes have osteoporosis.

Inadequate calcium intake is a leading cause of osteoporosis. Vitamin D, however, helps to absorb calcium. A long-term vitamin D deficiency can increase the risk of developing osteoporosis. Vitamin D may help prevent osteoporosis for older adults, post-menopausal women and those who are not ambulatory or on chronic steroids.

Vitamin D supplementation may increase bone density. One study showed that vitamin D supplementation of 50,000 units per week, for five weeks, led to an increase in bone density in the lumbar spine and femoral neck bones.

Calcium and vitamin D together can reduce fractures in institutionalized older people, but vitamin D is not enough to prevent falls. Low vitamin D levels in seniors over 65 are more at risk of hip fractures, as well as reduced strength and muscle mass.

Vitamin D may help reduce the chance of falling. Vitamin D may improve muscle function. Low blood levels of vitamin D are associated with poor muscle function, while higher levels are associated with better muscle function. Supplementing with vitamin D is most beneficial for those with low serum 25-hydroxyvitaminD concentrations (between 10-20ng/ml).

The risk of falling is reduced when vitamin D supplementation can be taken in 700-1000 international units per day. The risk of falling actually increased when 500,000 units of Cholecalciferol were administered once per year.


It has been shown that can be linked to cancer. Vitamin D may be helpful in the prevention and treatment of prostate, breast, and colon cancers. A deficiency in the vitamin D receptor is linked to cancerous lesions in the breast and intestine.

Poor vitamin D status has been linked to many cancers. Low vitamin D status is associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer. A study found that people who consume 1000 units of vitamin D per day have a lower risk of developing colorectal carcinoma. Another study found that vitamin D intake was inversely associated with the risk of developing colorectal cancer. Despite positive results on vitamin D, research is inconsistent. The National Cancer Institute doesn’t recommend vitamin D supplements to lower colorectal cancer risk.

Although some studies have shown a reduction in breast cancer risk due to serum 25-hydroxyvitamin, these findings are not statistically significant. To determine the impact of vitamin D on breast-cancer risk, more research is required.

Some evidence suggests that vitamin D could be dangerous. A large prospective study found that vitamin D doesn’t reduce the risk of prostate carcinoma. Additionally, higher levels of vitamin D may be linked to an increased risk of developing aggressive diseases. Research suggests that people with high levels of vitamin D might be more at risk for developing pancreatic cancer.

Although some studies suggest that vitamin D may reduce the risk of certain cancers, the current evidence doesn’t support large amounts of vitamin D for cancer prevention. An analysis of more than 16,000 people showed that total cancer mortality was not linked to vitamin D status. Research does not support vitamin D’s role in cancer prevention. To determine the exact relationship between vitamin D and cancer, more research is required.

Immune system

Vitamin D can affect the immune system. Vitamin D can reduce the risk of developing autoimmune diseases in animals. Vitamin D status may have an impact on the following diseases: Multiple sclerosis, diabetes mellitus Type 1, and inflammatory bowel Disease.

Vitamin D supplementation early in life reduces the likelihood of developing type 1 diabetes. A study found that people with a serum 25-hydroxyvitaminD concentration lower than 20 ng/mL have a nearly twofold increase in the risk of developing multiple sclerosis. Only animal, epidemiological, and in vitro studies currently suggest a link between vitamin D and diabetes/multiple Sclerosis.

A lower risk of Crohn’s disease is associated with higher levels of vitamin D. In animals, the impaired regulation of vitaminD can lead to autoimmune diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease. These symptoms may be improved by vitamin D administration.

Vitamin D may be helpful in fighting both viral and bacterial infections. Tuberculosis is linked to low Vitamin D levels. Vitamin D deficiencies may be more common among those suffering from tuberculosis. Vitamin D could play a role in treating tuberculosis. However, more research is required to confirm this.

Although vitamin D may have a positive effect on viral infections of the respiratory tract, this relationship has not been established. Numerous studies have not shown a correlation between vitamin D status, the prevention of viral respiratory infection and vitamin D. Recent research suggests that vitamin D supplementation could reduce the risk of tuberculosis and viral upper respiratory tract infections.

Vitamin D and the Heart

Vitamin D regulates many genes in the cardiovascular system. Studies on vitamin D and cardiovascular disease are sparse. Research suggests that vitamin D status and cardiovascular disease are linked. Further research is required to establish the role of vitamin D supplementation for cardiovascular disease.

Vitamin D is part of the renin-angiotensin system. Further research is required to establish a causal relationship between vitamin D and blood pressure.

Five out of seven studies in a review found an inverted relationship between serum 25-hydroxyvitaminD levels and cardiovascular disease. A lower serum 25-hydroxyvitaminD concentration is associated with more coronary heart disease than those with higher levels. Supplementation with vitaminD did not have any benefit on cardiovascular disease risk factors. No benefits were observed after increasing serum 25-hydroxyvitaminD concentrations from 23 to 40 ng/mL.