Vitamin D linked to muscle efficiency, function

Vitamin D supplementation may be effective in improving skeletal muscle function as well as muscle efficiency, according to recent study results. The findings may explain the physical fatigue commonly experienced by patients with vitamin D deficiency.

Researchers from Newcastle University, UK, used a magnetic resonance scan to measure phosphocreatine dynamics in response to exercise in the calf muscles of 12 patients with severe vitamin D deficiency before and after treatment with vitamin D. Mitochondria use phosphocreatine as a source to make ATP, a molecule that helps power muscle cells.

Overall, study results shows that phosphocreatine recovery significantly improved after patients took a fixed dose of oral vitamin D for 10 to 12 weeks. Improvement in symptoms of fatigue following supplementation was reported among all patients. A parallel study also demonstrated that low vitamin D levels were associated with reduced mitochondrial function.

“This is the first time a link has been shown between vitamin D status and muscle aerobic function,” Dr.AkashSinha, clinical research fellow at Newcastle University and Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, stated in a press release. “Patient with vitamin D deficiency often experience symptoms of muscle fatigue. Our findings in a small group of patients with very low vitamin D levels show that muscle efficiency significantly improves when vitamin D status is improved.”

For more information:

Sinha A. Endocrine Abstracts. 2013;doi:10.1530/endoabs.31.OC1.6.

Disclosure: Sinha received research support from the British Society of Paediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes.

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