11:50pm Tuesday 22 October 2019

Vitamin D may help maintain stronger muscles

INDIANAPOLIS – Vitamin D supplementation should be examined as a strategy to maintain muscle strength in adults, according to research published in the official journal of the American College of Sports Medicine. This study, in the January edition of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise®, shows that research participants with higher levels of vitamin D also had more muscle strength even after adjusting for multiple other factors.

“The results of this study indicate that vitamin D may be a viable treatment for muscle strength loss in adults. This is a key area of aging research since people lose strength as they age, but maintaining muscle strength helps prevent falls and fractures, and preserves the ability to live independently,” said the primary investigator, Paul D. Thompson, M.D., FACSM, chief of cardiology at Hartford Hospital in Hartford, Connecticut.

The researchers tested arm and leg strength in more than 400 adults participating in a study of how the statin cholesterol drugs affect exercise performance. The researchers examined the relationship of vitamin D to muscle strength after controlling for age, gender, resting heart rate, systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), body mass index (BMI), maximal oxygen uptake (VO2 max), physical activity counts, and season of vitamin D measurement. Vitamin D levels had a stronger association with arm strength than leg strength.

Findings indicate that vitamin D may be an effective treatment to preserve muscle strength in older adults. Further research is needed to determine conclusively if vitamin D maintains or increases muscle strength with aging as well as the appropriate amounts of vitamin D when consumed as a part of diet, supplementation, or through sun exposure.


Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise® is the official journal of the American College of Sports Medicine, and is available from Lippincott Williams & Wilkins at 1-800-638-6423. For a complete copy of the research paper (Vol. 45, No. 1, pp: 155-160) or to speak with a leading sports medicine expert on the topic, contact the Department of Communications and Public Information at 317-637-9200 ext. 133. Visit ACSM online at www.acsm.org.

The conclusions outlined in this news release are those of the researchers only, and should not be construed as an official statement of the American College of Sports Medicine.

The American College of Sports Medicine supports the 10 Criteria for Responsible Health Reporting as articulated by HealthNewsReview.org.

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