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Functionality in Elderly or Injured

Supplements that improve symptoms of osteoarthritis, reduce the risk of falls, or improve muscle function in elderly persons tend to improve physical function and movement resulting in increased quality of life.

Research analysis led by Kamal Patel.
All content reviewed by the Examine.com Team. Published: Jul 5, 2013
Last Updated:

Human Effect Matrix

The Human Effect Matrix looks at human studies (it excludes animal and in vitro studies) to tell you what supplements affect functionality in elderly or injured
Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Outcome Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
grade-b Minor Very High See all 3 studies
Somewhat of an increase in functionality of elderly persons, most likely secondary to the beneficial effects on joint health.
grade-b - High See all 3 studies
Most evidence measuring functionality in elderly persons have not found any improvement with DHEA supplementation, although it is possible that DHEA may play a role
grade-c Notable Very High See 2 studies
In persons with osteoarthritis, the performance on a treadmill test after eight months was significantly increased (more than twice the distance covered with curcumin relative to control).
grade-c Notable - See study
An improvement in muscular and neural functionality in the elderly is thought to underlie the reductions of fall risk and reduced bone fracture rate seen in elderly cohorts
grade-c Minor Moderate See 2 studies
Possibly an effect, but the less reliable effects of creatine in the older population (which seem to respond less) seems to manifest here.
grade-c Minor - See study
Grip strength has been found to be increased in elderly persons associated with supplementation at low doses
grade-c Minor - See study
The increase in functionality appears to be secondary to reductions in symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis
grade-c Minor - See study
Physical function and activities of daily living in elderly persons after a stroke appear to be benefitted with phenylpiracetam. While it should work in elderly persons without cognitive impairment, this has not been tested
grade-c Minor - See study
An increase in functionality of elderly frail persons has been seen with zinc supplementation, thought to be related to the increase in IGF-1 also observed.
grade-c - - See study
No significant influence has been noted on functional tests in elderly persons given nitrate supplementation
grade-c - - See study
The one study to note functional capabilities in persons with dementia given oxiracetam failed to find a significant treatment effect
grade-d Notable - See study
An increase in the function of the joint appears to occur alongside reductions in perceived pain and soreness when cissus treats athletic joint pain; one of the few options that sees to benefit athletes.
grade-d Minor - See study
An improvement in balance has been noted with vinpocetine ingestion in the elderly, which may be related to the attenuation of cognitive decline