Monday, November 4, 2019

Daylight saving time: 4 surprising health effects of 'falling back'

It's been a year since we posted about this. It turns out daylight saving time shifts are linked to changes in our health, diet and may even make us more accident prone. Here are some tips to adjust.


A technician working on the clock of the Lukaskirche Church in Dresden, eastern Germany. 
Sebastian Kahnert / AFP - Getty Images file

Twice a year, switching between daylight saving time and standard time throws us off our usual routine. We might expect to feel a bit sleepy or maybe even a little “off.” But springing forward or falling back an hour can have other surprising effects: It’s linked to changes in our health, diet and even tendency to get into an accident.
“Sleep is a kind of outward symbol of the timing processes of our body,” explained Chris Winter, M.D., author of “The Sleep Solution” and president of the Charlottesville Neurology and Sleep Medicine clinic in Virginia. “Our bodies function on an internal schedule, from hormone release to body temperature to cognition – and sleep is linked to them all.”

Appetite


Blame this one on the hormones. “Appetite in general is often not the body requesting food; it’s the body anticipating food,” Dr. Winter explained. “When your body knows you eat lunch around 12:30 p.m. or so every day, it anticipates and prepares for the meal.”
Your body receives those signals from hormones, like ghrelin, which increases our cravings so we’re motivated to eat, and leptin, which affects feelings of satiety. “These two hormones are intimately associated with sleep, which is part of why when we’re not sleeping well, we tend to overeat,” Dr. Winter said. “It’s a tight hormonal balance and daylight-saving shifts can absolutely throw it off.”

Accidents


Speaking of being thrown off, you may find daylight saving time shifts make you feel mentally fuzzy or slow. Sleep disruptions can conversely affect cognitive performance.
Back in 1999, Johns Hopkins and Stanford University researchers published a comprehensive study that analyzed 21 years’ worth of fatal car crash data. They found a small but notable increase in car crash deaths on the Monday after the switch to daylight saving time in the spring: 83.5 deaths, compared with 78.2 deaths on the average Monday.
And studies of workplace-specific accidents have uncovered similar links. Research published in 2009 showed the Monday after switching to daylight saving time saw a 5.7 percent jump in workplace injuries, and nearly 68 percent more workdays lost to injuries, meaning they were more severe. These conclusions were reached by analyzing U.S. Department of Labor and Mine Safety and Health Administration injury data from 1983 to 2006.

Mood


Here again, disruptions in our normal sleep schedule can throw off hormonal balances. Lack of proper sleep can exacerbate depressive feelings, anxiety, irritability, and mental exhaustion.
Studies show even partial sleep deprivation can have a negative effect on mood, and as Dr. Winter pointed out, this effect can snowball: When you feel stressed and anxious thanks to lack of sleep from the previous night, it’s hard to settle down for that night’s rest, too.
If you have teens in the house, take special note: “The effects of [daylight saving time] can have more impact on adolescents,” said AndrĂ© U. Aguillon, M.D., assistant professor at the University of Toledo’s medical school and program director of the university’s Sleep Medicine Fellowship Program. “Not only do they require more sleep than adults, but their habitual sleep-wake timing is typically delayed.”
The spring forward has links to heart attack and certain strokes
“The heart has a pretty significant circadian rhythm,” said Winter, who has studied brain-blood flow during sleep. “We tend to see that disrupted sleep may make people more vulnerable when we wake up – not causing a heart attack but perhaps exacerbating underlying conditions.”


A 2014 U.S. study showed one hour of sleep during the "spring forward" to daylight saving time raised the risk of having a heart attack the following Monday by 24 percent compared to other Mondays during the year. By contrast, when “falling back” later in the year to gain an extra hour of sleep, heart attack risk fell 21 percent on the following Tuesday after returning to standard time.
Similarly, a study presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 2016 conference showed daylight saving time transitions may be linked to an increased risk of ischemic stroke.

Tips to adjust: Do's and don’ts


Do get as much light as possible when you wake up. Sure, you may not feel like throwing open those curtains as soon as you open your eyes. But this is “by far the most effective way to jumpstart the change,” Dr. Winter said. “Your body sets its rhythm in large part by light.”
Do exercise in the A.M. This gets you up and moving, as well as exposing you to light and raising your body temperature – all great ways to wake your body up.
Do go to bed at your typical time Saturday night before the clocks change. “As we are a typically sleep-deprived society, we should take advantage of the extra hour of sleep,” Dr. Aguillon said.
Don’t over-caffeinate. Enjoy your morning cup, or whatever your usual coffee habit may be. But don’t alter your caffeine routine by, for example, chugging a cup or two in the afternoon because you feel a slump.
Don’t take a nap. “This is where people fall off the wagon,” Dr. Winter said. “They’re tired so they nap in the middle of the day, but then when it’s time to go to bed that night or the next night they’re not ready, which can have a bad snowball effect.”

Source: 
https://www.nbcnews.com/know-your-value/feature/daylight-saving-time-4-surprising-health-effects-falling-back-ncna929546
https://yourwellnesswecare.blogspot.com/2018/11/boo-to-clocks-falling-back.html

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Reaching Optimal Eye Health with Chinese Medicine

Do you think 6-6 have a little resemblance to a pair of eyes? Yes, pictograh, pictogram, or hieroglyph is at the heart of 

how ancient Chinese as well as modern people who can read and write Chinese language think. The 24th China National Sight Day is observed on June 6, 2019. I have gathered in Chinese some resources for eye diagnosis before, and here's a crude introduction to the view of eye health from the point of view of Chinese Medicine (TCM).





According to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), the eyes relate to the internal organs. In Chinese medicine, each part of the eye is associated with a particular element and corresponding zang organ. The iris is represented by the liver zang. The heart zang relates to the corners of the eyes or the canthi, the upper and lower eyelids correspond to the spleen, the conjunctiva the lung, and the pupil the kidney.
Chinese medicine recognizes six environmental, or external, pathogens that can lead to vision loss. A person’s resistance to environmental pathogenic factors is based on how healthy their immune system is, which, in turn, is a function of qi (a person’s energy, similar to a life force). Basically, if a person has strong qi and good resistance, he or she can ward off potential hazards associated with these external factors. According to TCM, a person with poor qi flow or imbalances in qi in any of the zang organs relating to the parts of the eye will have decreased resistance to the six specific environmental pathogens that can influence vision.
Environmental Pathogenic Factors Affecting the Eyes:
      Heat – Leads to swelling, inflammation, and the redness commonly found in many eye diseases such as conjunctivitis
      Cold – Will yield pain and slow vision loss over time, as in chronic degenerative conditions such as macular degeneration and glaucoma
      Wind – Results in sudden and dramatic onset of vision loss
      Dampness – Causes secretion of mucus, and swelling
      Dryness – Results in dry itchy eyes and redness
      Summer Heat – Inflammation and mucus discharge
These pathogens can damage the eyes and possibly cause vision loss. Many of these influences are closely related to the seasons and commonly arise during seasonal changes. Wind and fire are associate with the eyes in acute cases. These are considered “Yang conditions of the eye.” Wind is the leading pathogenic factor, and can often lead to other environmental “evils” affecting the eyes. Wind is characterized by rapid change and sudden onset. Fire is characterized by inflammation, ulceration, and redness. Other pathogenic factors can easily be turned into fire toxin.
The other environment pathogens, cold and dampness, result in “Yin” conditions. According to TCM, the most common cause of poor vision is exposure to cold and dampness, which results in poor circulation to the eyes. The invasion of cold blocks the flow of qi, depriving the eyes of vital warmth and nourishment. Coldness also settles into the muscles, vessels, and skin around the eyes, resulting in further degeneration of visual acuity.
One of the foundations of Chinese medicine is the belief that no issue is an isolated problem, but rather, is rooted in a person’s overall wellbeing. This includes a person’s lifestyle, stress factors, diet, activity level, and genetic makeup. This is why a person’s qi—and any blockages in a person’s qi flow–profoundly affects the entire body. As Marc Grossman puts it in his article Healthy Eyes with Chinese Medicine, “The skin of the entire body is covered with tiny electric eyes known in Chinese medicine as acupuncture points. These points follow along the flow of energy streams called meridians. In Chinese medicine, when the meridians are flowing smoothly, there is neither pain nor illness. When blockages exist in the meridians, pain and illness result. Each acupuncture point is a window of heightened sensitivity close to the surface of the skin, providing the acupuncturist with easy access to the meridians to clear blockages.”
Acupuncture is a primary modality of traditional Chinese medicine, and can be used to treat some of the most well-known eye disorders such as retinitis pigmentosa (RP), glaucoma, and macular degeneration. Andy Rosenfarb, LAc, who has treated these eye conditions and many others, notes in his article Researching Retinitis Pigmentosa (Night Blindness) with Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine that “Results have shown that acupuncture is clearly an effective means of managing most chronic and degenerative eye diseases. Results have shown measurable improvement in approximately 70-80% of all cases treated.”
However, TCM treatment for eye disorders and vision loss can also include the use of oral formulations of herbs in varying combination known to improve the eyes and related zang organs, and application of herbal heat using moxibustion (a technique that involves the heating of herbs).
Herbs used to Treat Eye Disorders:
      Ju hua (chrysanthemum flower): Clears the liver. Improves red, eyes, and decreases excessive tearing, clears floaters, and blurred vision.
      Qing Xiang Zi (Celosia Seeds): Used for painful, red, swollen eyes, and cataracts.
      San Qi (Pseudiginseng Root): Repairs broken blood vessels in the eye, clears “blood spots”,
      Chan Tui (Cicada Moulting): Clears blurred vision and reduces redness, also used to treat painful, swollen eyes.
      Mi Menghua (Buddleia Flower Bud): Improves sensitivity to light, and excessive tearing
      Qou Qi Zi (Chinese Wolfberry Fruit or Lycium Fruit): Acts on liver and kidney deficiencies of Qi , correcting blurred vision and vision loss
      Huai Hua Mi (Pagoda Tree Flower): Used to treat dizziness, blurred vision and red eyes due to liver heat.
Patients who have turned to TCM for the treatment of chronic eye conditions found that they have been able to significantly reduce their reliance on drugs and corticalsteroid eye drops. Many patients who sought TCM for their eye conditions also discovered that their eye condition was related to a different, seemingly unrelated, health concern such as eczema, asthma, and gastric distress. Patients discovered this when the other ‘unrelated’ issue improved in conjunction with the Chinese herbal remedy for the eye condition. 

References:
Grossman, Marc, O.D., L.Ac. “Healthy Eyes with Chinese Medicine” https://www.acufinder.com/Acupuncture+Information/Detail/Healthy+Eyes+with+Chinese+Medicine
Rosenfarb, Andy, ND, L.Ac. “Researching Retinitis Pigmentosa (Night Blindness) with Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine”  Oriental Medicine Newspaper. February, 2012
Source:
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine

Friday, May 24, 2019

Commonly Available Natural Sleep Aids & Supplements

I have posted some natural proven Chinese medicine remedies for improving sleep quality, some friends expressed inaccessibility to those methods and herbs. Hence copy the post -- assuming the things are more easily accessible to friends here. 

Alternatives to Medication

If you’re among the nearly half of Americans who sometimes have trouble with sleep, you may be interested in how to slide into slumber without drugs. Herbal teas, tinctures, and other supplements may help. But talk to your doctor first. Even natural sleep aids can cause side effects or interfere with how your medicines work. And the FDA doesn’t check supplements for safety or quality. So know exactly what you’re taking.


Melatonin

This hormone tells your body when to sleep and wake. Some research suggests that melatonin supplements can ease sleep issues like jet lag and trouble falling or staying asleep. For the most part, melatonin is safe for healthy adults if taken for only a few weeks or months. Side effects include headache, dizziness, and nausea. Try taking 1-3 milligrams 2 hours before bed.


Lavender

Try sniffing this purple flower before your bedtime. Its scent slows your heart rate and lowers your blood pressure and skin temperature. This can set the stage for slumber. A study found that people who snoozed in a lavender-infused room had more restful deep sleep than those who didn’t. Want to try it? Run an essential oil diffuser in your bedroom, or add a few drops to your pillowcase.


GABA


It short for gamma-aminobutyric acid. It’s a chemical in the brain that boosts relaxation and sleep. Some sleeping pills work by helping GABA work better. But there’s no proof that taking GABA itself as a supplement works. Scientists aren’t sure that GABA can even pass from your bloodstream into your brain.
photo of valerian

Valerian


This perennial plant has been used as a sleep aid for hundreds of years. Studies suggest that valerian helps you get more sound ZZZs. But the evidence is mixed. It may raise the levels of GABA, which boosts relaxation. Valerian is thought to be safe in the short term, but it sometimes may give you headaches and stomachaches. Take 300-600 milligrams up to 2 hours before bed. Or brew 2-3 grams of the dried root in a cup of water.
photo of CBD oil

CBD Oil


Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a compound in marijuana and hemp plants. It doesn’t get you high, but it can help you nod off. CBD oil may work by taking the edge off. One study found that people who took it felt less anxious and slept better within a month. CBD may make some people tired or want to throw up. Experts are still looking at how much is needed, but research suggests a dose of 25-175 milligrams a day.
photo of kava

Kava

This South Pacific native plant is taken for anxiety. Research suggests kava is also useful for sleep. It may ease insomnia caused by stress. But kava supplements have been linked to a risk of serious liver damage. Talk to your doctor if you’re thinking about taking kava. It’s thought that supplements made from only the root, not the stem or leaves, may be safer.
photo of California poppy

California Poppy


It’s related to the opium poppy but is a different flower species. California poppy has been used in traditional medicine as a sedative. Scientists have found that it helps raise the levels of GABA, the relaxation-boosting chemical. But there’s little research on whether California poppy extracts work. You could try 600 milligrams before bedtime. It’s likely safe to use for short periods. Possible side effects include stomach problems.
photo of glycine

Glycine


This tiny amino acid can have a big impact on your sleep. It may raise the amount of serotonin, a brain chemical that affects slumber. It also helps your blood flow and drops your body temperature, both of which encourage you to nod off. Glycine supplements are viewed as safe. Try taking 3 grams about an hour before bedtime.
photo of woman drinking tea

Chamomile


Many people enjoy it as a soothing herbal tea, and for good reason. This daisy-like plant has a calming effect thanks to an antioxidant called apigenin. It works on certain brain cell receptors that help you relax and fall asleep. Chamomile is safe, but it can interact with certain medicines. Sip a mug of tea before bed. Or take 200-270 milligrams of extract, twice a day.
photo of woman taking supplements

5-HTP


It’s short for 5-hydroxytryptophan, a compound that your body makes from foods. Your body uses 5-HTP to make melatonin, an important hormone for sleep. Some studies suggest, but don’t prove, that 5-HTP supplements made from plant seeds may help you log more sleep. Experts recommend 100-300 milligrams of 5-HTP before bedtime. Side effects include nausea and headaches.
photo of passionflower

Passionflower


It’s a type of climbing vine. Native Americans have long used passionflower for its calming properties. The plant contains GABA, the brain chemical that affects your mood and sleep. One study found that people reported getting a better night’s rest when they sipped a mug of passionflower tea beforehand. Experts say that passionflower seems safe to take in the short term.
photo of foods with magnesium

Magnesium


Low levels of this mineral may make it harder for you to fall or stay asleep. Studies show that magnesium supplements may improve slumber in older people and those with restless legs syndrome. Get enough with foods like nuts and leafy greens. Women need 310-320 milligrams per day, while men need 400-420 milligrams. Ask your doctor if you should take a supplement: Too much magnesium can lead to cramps and nausea.
photo of tart cherry juice

Tart Cherry Juice


Tart cherries are a natural source of melatonin, a key sleep hormone. Early research shows that drinking tart cherry juice raises the amount of melatonin in your body. It also helped people sleep more soundly and for longer. The more common Bing and other sweet cherries don’t have the same effect, so look for the tart variety. Sip a cup about an hour of two before bedtime.
photo of magnolia bark

Magnolia Bark

Chinese medicine uses this to treat anxiety and depression. Experts are studying whether magnolia bark might work on sleep, too. It has a compound called honokiol, which may improve your slumber. Magnolia bark also may keep your body from releasing the stress hormone adrenaline. It appears safe for short-term use, but it sometimes can give you heartburn. 

Source:
https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/ss/slideshow-natural-sleep-remedies

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Eight-brocade Exercise (Qi Gong: Ba Duan Jin)

The Eight-brocade Exercise (Ba Duan Jin)




This 800-year old exercise, which the ancients likened to beautiful brocade, consists of eight sections, is very popular among the Chinese people. There are different postures such as sitting or standing; each section can be practiced on its own and each targets a specific organ or health need. The whole set of movements are fine and delicate with moderate intensity. The movements can vary greatly according to different schools of practice; the following is the most important and widely practiced protocol.
Prepare yourself by standing naturally with feet shoulder-width apart, and the hands hanging by both sides. Be calm, focused and let the body relax and the breathing natural.

Watch on Youtube here. The Chinese narration version can be watched here

1. Hold up the hands to regulate the triple burner
Raise both hands above the head with the palms facing upward, as if holding up the heavens. The eyes should follow the hands over the head. Stretch up on the toes and hold the posture for a few seconds before gently returning to the starting position. Inhale through the nose while bringing the arms up, and exhale through the mouth when bringing the arms down. Repeat the procedure six times.

This section is said to benefit the triple burner, which is the passage for water, nutrients and fluid throughout the body. This exercise activates the fluid flowing in it and ensures proper nourishment throughout the body.
2. Draw a bow like shooting a hawk
Separate the legs and bend the knees, with half-clenched fists in front of the chest. Draw the hands up and pull as if drawing a bow to the right; extend the limbs fully; then repeat on the left side. The eyes should follow the trajectory of the imaginary arrow at all times. Inhale through the nose while drawing the arms up, and exhale through the mouth when bringing the arms down. Repeat the whole procedure six times.
This section is said to benefit the lungs by expanding the chest and exercising the muscles of the upper body.
3. Raise one arm to regulate the spleen and stomach
Standing naturally with arms bent at the elbows, let the palms face upwards and the fingertips touch each other. Raise the hands and turn the palms downwards; then draw the right hand up with the palm facing upward; the left hand moves downward with the palm facing down. When the arms are extended, straighten the legs. Exhale through the nose when both hands are in front of the chest, and inhale through the mouth when the arms are apart. Repeat the whole procedure six times.
This section is said to regulate the spleen and stomach by the lifting and lowering actions. It contributes to the ascending of spleen-qi and the descending of stomach-qi, thus promoting the digestive functions.
4. Turn the head back to treat consumptive diseases and injuries
Inhaling while slowly turning the head to the right side as far as possible, look back as much as possible, then exhale and return to the original position. Repeat on the left side as one complete procedure and repeat six times.
This section is said to benefit those with consumptive disease and injuries by enriching the essence and blood, calming the mind and promoting organ functioning.
5. Sway the head and swing the buttocks to expel the heart-fire
Prepare by squatting down halfway with feet apart and the palms on the thighs. Look down and lean the upper trunk forward, exhaling while swinging the head to the left and swinging the buttocks to the right; inhale while returning. Switch directions and repeat the cycle six times.
It is said that swaying the head can send down heart-fire while swinging the buttocks causes the kidney-yin to ascend to meet the heart-fire; it lets both organs mutually complement each other. See "The kidneys' relationship with the heart".
6. Hold the feet by the hands to reinforce the loins and kidneys
Bend over slowly and touch your toes keeping the legs straight; keep the head up slightly. Then place the hands on the lower back and bend backward and stretch as far as you can. Inhale through the nose at the start of the bend and exhale through the mouth at the end. Repeat the whole procedure six times.
This section can reinforce the kidneys and strengthen the waist and the knees. The kidneys are the source of all energy in the body and are located near the waist; constant practice benefits the function of all the other organ systems as well.
7. Punch with anger
Take a horse-riding posture; the hands are tightly clenched with palms facing upwards at waist level. Punch with the palm side downward and draw back with alternative arms; imagine pent-up anger being released through the punch. Inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth.
This section is said to strengthen the muscles of the whole body.
8. Shake the spine to help prevent disease
Interlock the hands and put them behind the neck and extend the neck backward while the hands draw forward; stretch up on the toes and hold the posture for a few seconds before gently returning to the starting position. Exhale while lifting on both heels; inhale while returning. Repeat six times.
This section is said to enhance the protective qi and promote resistance. The Bladder Meridian, which governs the surface of the whole body, passes through the neck. The movements promote the smooth flow of protective qi and secure the striae on the body surface.
The Eight-brocade Exercise (Ba Duan Jin) is a simple sequence of movements, appropriate for almost anyone. Unlike more advanced Qigong practices, it can be learned from a book. The complete set of movements only takes five to ten minutes to do and helps to release blockages along all twelve meridians. The movements are recommended for chronic conditions like neurasthenia, coronary heart disease, bronchitis and soreness in the lumbar region. You can choose the specific sections according your health needs, e.g. respiratory diseases are suitable for the second and fifth sections; lumbar problems are suitable for the fifth, sixth and eighth sections.

Source:
http://shen-nong.com/eng/lifestyles/tcmrole_health_maintenance_8brocade.html

China's 24 solar terms: Guyu

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Calcium and Vitamin D for Bone Health (Tufts Research)

This is no news from the perspective of Chinese medicine: Things lacking the Qi (energy) from Heaven and Earth -- which is present in natural foods – cannot always be absorbed by our body as we expect them to. Here comes another modern medicine confirmation: A Western medicine expert panel recommends against most healthy older adults taking calcium and vitamin D supplements to prevent fractures.

The basis of healthy eating in regards to TCM is filling most of the diet with fresh foods that are NOT human made, free from chemicals, preservatives, and over-processing. These foods are seen as the most vital, that is full of Qi. 

A federal advisory panel, the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), has released updated recommendations on calcium and vitamin D supplementation for bone health.
Adequate calcium and vitamin D from the diet are important for maintaining bone health. A decline in bone density (strength) raises the risk of fractures, which in turn can lead to disability and a diminished quality of life, partially in older adults. Questions have remained about the relevance of supplements.
The USPSTF’s updated review of studies concluded that, for generally healthy older adults, there is insufficient evidence for any benefit from taking a supplement containing more than 400 International Units (IU) of vitamin D and 1,000 milligrams (mg) per day of calcium to lower the risk of primary fractures (about the current recommendations for individuals over the age of 50). The USPSTF evidence review also found no net benefit in preventing initial fractures by taking a supplement containing 400 IU of vitamin D and 1,000 mg per day of calcium or less than these amounts. These conclusions contradict what older adults may have heard for years—that calcium and vitamin D supplements are essential to prevent weakening of bones and fractures.
In addition, the USPSTF found vitamin D with calcium supplementation was associated with an increase in the incidence of kidney stones, although the magnitude of this harm was rated as small. They also found some studies evaluating supplementation with vitamin D alone that suggested no increase in incident cardiovascular disease.
The new recommendations apply only to generally healthy seniors living independently in the community. For older adults living in assisted living facilities—who tend to need help and are at elevated risk of fractures and falls—the Task Force concluded the evidence supported a benefit from supplementation. “Certain older women may still be candidates for calcium and vitamin D supplementation,” says Bess Dawson-Hughes, MD, director of Tufts’ HNRCA Bone Metabolism Laboratory. It is best to discuss this issue with your healthcare provider.
Bone Health Basics: The National Academy of Medicine recommends the following daily intakes of calcium and vitamin D for adults from all sources, both food and supplements:
-Calcium: 1,000 mg, increasing to 1,200 mg after age 50 in women, and after age 70 in men.
-Vitamin D: 600 IU, rising to 800 IU after age 70 in both women and men.
Adequate amounts of these nutrients can help to prevent significant decline in bone density (osteoporosis), which increases the risk of bone fractures.
Major hip and spine fractures can lead to hospitalization, diminished quality of life and increase the risk of death.
Fracture Prevention: The USPSTF addressed a key question: Does the current evidence from clinical trials show that all adults over 50 should take supplemental calcium and vitamin D at low to moderate doses to prevent fractures—even if they lack known risk factors?
The Task Force concluded: “Vitamin D supplementation alone or 400 IU of vitamin D and 1,000 mg of calcium daily was not associated with reduced fracture incidence among community-dwelling adults without known vitamin D deficiency, osteoporosis, or prior fracture.”
The updated review combined the findings of 11 randomized controlled clinical trials in adults 50 and older—mostly women—lasting 2 to 7 years.
More To Come: The latest USPSTF recommendations are unlikely to be the last word in the debate over calcium and vitamin D supplementation for preventing fractures in otherwise healthy seniors. The Task Force has concluded only that current evidence is “insufficient to determine the balance of benefits versus harms” of supplementation. Future research could change that. For now, eating healthy foods rich in calcium and vitamin D remains a sensible recommendation for better bone health.

Exercise Best for Preventing Falls

Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium. Some studies have found that vitamin D supplementation may also prevent falls—possibly by supporting muscle function. But the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has now withdrawn an earlier recommendation favorable to vitamin D for fall prevention.
Instead, a Task Force review of 20 studies concluded that regular exercise for strength and balance offers powerful protection against falls for older adults.
Most people in the studies exercised 3 times a week, accumulating 150 minutes per week. The benefit remained the same whether people took part in individual routines, exercise classes or physical therapy.
The USPSTF also recommended that doctors offer additional treatments to prevent falls, depending on a person’s risks (like getting an eye exam if you have poor vision).

Sources:

https://now.tufts.edu/news-releases/nutrients-food-not-supplements-linked-lower-risks-death-cancer
https://www.nutritionletter.tufts.edu/issues/14_7/current-articles/The-Latest-on-Calcium-and-Vitamin-D-for-Bone-Health_2428-1.html
https://www.wildearthacupuncture.com/blog/2018/9/6/chinese-medicine-diet-recommendations