Vitamin D may help to improve muscle strength

November 5, 2013

According to a new data analysis from Belgium, a regular and adequate vitamin D supply seems to increase lower limb muscle strength in the elderly.

The meta-analysis included 19 randomized controlled trials – with a total of 4,824 participants (with a mean age of 66 years) – that assessed the potential effect of vitamin D supplementation on grip strength and/or lower limb muscle strength (1). The analysis showed that participants with increased intakes of vitamin D had significantly higher global muscle strength, especially in the lower limbs, when compared to the placebo group.

The researchers commented that these findings support earlier studies suggesting that vitamin D plays an important role in skeletal muscle tissue and that vitamin D deficiency is associated with low muscular stre- ngth and an increase in the risk of falling (2). Various studies have demonstrated a relationship between vitamin D and physical performance (3). Although most of these studies were conducted in female-only pop- ulations, some studies which included both men and women reported similar results.


  1. Beaudart C. et al. Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials Assessing the Effects of Vitamin D Supplementation on Skeletal Muscle Strength. Data presented at the ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting in San Diego, USA. October 2013.
  2. Holick M. F. Vitamin D deficiency. N Engl J Med. 2007; 357:266–281.
  3. Boyé N. D. A. et al. Vitamin D and Physical Performance in Older Men and Women Visiting the Emergency Department Because of a Fall: Data from the Improving Medication Prescribing to reduce Risk Of FALLs (IMPROveFALL) Study. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. Published online October 2013.