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Vitamin D Supplementation and Muscle Strength
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is commonly known to help regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body. Vitamin D is obtained in the diet and then converted into the active form by the sun. It found naturally in only a few foods such as fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines), egg yolks, and mushrooms. Since so few foods found in nature are good sources of vitamin D, fortified foods provide most of the vitamin D found in the American diet like cow’s milk, cereal, oatmeal, and orange juice.
Vitamin D deficiency is very common in the general population even here in sunny Florida.
Vitamin D deficiency can cause muscle weakness and affect the development of muscle.
Impaired muscle performance was three times more common among those with vitamin D deficiency (25.2%) than those with adequate Vitamin D (7.9%).
Research has shown Vitamin D to play a very important role in not only bone health but muscle health as well. Research supports a positive effect of daily vitamin D supplementation on muscle function, especially in older individuals with vitamin D deficiency. The study found beneficial effects not only in muscle strength but in postural stability, balance, and gait in diverse populations including adolescents and the elderly. There have been correlations between increased vitamin D levels and a decreased risk for falls in the elderly population.
Most research on the benefits of Vitamin D supplementation has been done on individuals already vitamin D deficient. There is more research needed on older adults who have normal vitamin D levels to better understand the role in skeletal muscle function.
Halfon, M., Phan, O., & Teta, D. (2015). Vitamin D: a review on its effects on muscle strength, the risk of fall, and frailty. BioMed research international, 2015.
Rejnmark, L. (2011). Effects of vitamin D on muscle function and performance: a review of evidence from randomized controlled trials. Therapeutic advances in chronic disease, 2(1), 25-37.
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