Deakin University

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Multivitamin supplementation improves nutritional status and bone quality in aged care residents

journal contribution
posted on 2009-04-01, 00:00 authored by Jessica Grieger, Caryl NowsonCaryl Nowson, Heather Jarman, Rob Malon, Leigh AcklandLeigh Ackland
Objectives: To assess the effectiveness of a multivitamin (MV) tablet on nutritional status, quantitative heel ultrasound (QUS), mobility, muscle strength and falls. The design comprised two groups matched on mobility levels, randomized to receive a daily MV or placebo (P) tablet for 6 months. The setting was an Australian residential care facility.

Subjects: A total of 92 aged care residents. Serum micronutrients, body weight, QUS, rate of falls, hand grip strength, and the timed up and go test were assessed at baseline and 6 months.

Results: A total of 49 participants consumed a MV and 43, a matched P for 6 months. There was a greater increase in the MV vs P group for serum 25(OH)D (mean differencestandard error, 33.42.6 nmol l-1), folate (13.42.8 nmol l-1), and vitamin B12 (178.040.3 pmol l-1) (all P<0.001). Adequate 25(OH)D concentrations (50 nmol l-1) were found among 77% of participants in the MV group vs 10% taking P (P<0.001). Adjusting for baseline levels, the increase in QUS was greater in the MV vs P group (3.02.0 dB MHz-1 vs -2.92.1 dB MHz-1, respectively, P=0.041). There was a trend towards a 63% lower mean number of falls in the MV vs P group (0.30.1 falls vs 0.80.3 falls, P=0.078).

Conclusions: MV supplementation raised serum vitamin B12 and folate concentrations and increased serum 25(OH)D, which was accompanied by an apparent positive effect on bone density. We also found a trend towards a reduction in falls and this could contribute to a reduction in fractures.



European journal of clinical nutrition






558 - 565


Nature Publishing Group


Basingstoke, England







Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal; C Journal article

Copyright notice

2009, Nature Publishing Group