Am Fam Physician. 2016 Feb 15;93(4):315.
Does vitamin D supplementation in women with low levels of the vitamin affect bone mineral density, muscle mass, strength, or fall risk?
You do not have to treat a low vitamin D level if your patient is a typical community-dwelling postmenopausal woman younger than 75 years. The usual dosage of vitamin D, 800 IU (20 mcg) daily, will not increase levels even after a year of therapy and has little effect on calcium absorption or bone mineral density. A high dosage, 50,000 IU (125 mcg) twice monthly, will raise levels but is similarly ineffective in improving minimally low bone mineral density, muscle strength, functional status, physical activity levels, or risk of falls. Not checking vitamin D levels will make it easier not to (ineffectively) treat low levels. (Level
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This series is coordinated by Sumi Sexton, MD, Associate Deputy Editor.
A collection of POEMs published in AFP is available at http://www.aafp.org/afp/poems.
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