Bone FractureCalciumElderlyVitamins

Maintaining vitamin D levels in nursing home patients

 In older adults, 25-hydroxyvitamin D (aka vitamin D3) blood levels of 75 nmol/L reduce the risk of fracture.

Eating a fortified bun once daily is all it takes to meet this goal, according to researchers Canada and Romania.

First, the details.

  • 45 nursing home residents ate 1 bun daily that was fortified with 125 µg (5000 IU) vitamin D3 and 320 mg elemental calcium.

And, the results.

  • At the start of the study, the average vitamin D blood level was 29 nmol/L.
  • 12 months later, the vitamin D blood level was 126 nmol/L, and exceeded 74 nmol/L in 92% of patients.
  • Z-scores for bone mineral density at the lumbar spine and the hip both increased significantly.
    • A Z-score measures a patient’s bone mineral density compared to the average for their age, sex, and ethnicity.

The bottom line?
The authors came to 2 conclusions for older adults living in a nursing home.

  • Fortifying bread with more vitamin D produced no bad effects and improved bone density.
  • This approach provides a way to ensure that vitamin D–deficient older adults attain desirable vitamin D levels.

3/18/09 22:02 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.