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Elderly lower limb muscle strength improved with Vitamin D supplementation - Meta-analysis Oct 2013

Vitamin D Supplementation Increases Lower Limb Muscle Strength MPR


  • presented at the 2013 ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting
  • Charlotte Beaudart principal investigator
  • RCT of supplementation on muscle strength conducted between 1966 and February 2013
  • 19 RCT included, mean quality Jadad score of 3.8 (of 5) points.
  • A total of 4,824 individuals were included; mean age was 66 years.
  • standardized mean difference (SMD) of 0.096 (95% CI 0.007–0.184; P=0.034)

Abstract on conference website


The effects of vitamin D on skeletal muscle strength: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

European Journal of Public Health, Vol. 23, Supplement 1, 2013
C Beaudart 1, F Buckinx 1, V Rabenda 1, E Cavalier 2, J Petermans 3, JY Reginster 1, O Bruyere 1
'Department of Public Health, Epldemlology and Health Ecónomo, Unlverslty of Liege, Liege, Belgium
2Department of Clinical Chemistry, University of Liege, CHU Sart-Tilman, Liege, Belgium
3Geriatric Department, CHU Liege, Liege, Belgium Contact: c.beaudart at ulg.ac.be

Background: Currently, there is growing evidence that vitamin D plays a role on several tissues including skeletal muscle. Previous studies suggested that vitamin D deficiency is associated with low muscular strength. The objective of this meta-analysis is to summarize the effects of vitamin D supplementation on muscle strength.

Methods: A systematic research of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) assessing the effect of vitamin D supplementation on muscle strength and performed between 1966 and February 2013 has been conducted (Medline, Cochrane Database of Systematics Reviews, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, manual review of the literature and congressional abstracts). All forms and doses of vitamin D supplementation, with or without calcium supplementation, compared with placebo or control were included. The quality of the RCTs was evaluated using the Jadad criteria.

Results: Out of the 214 potentially relevant articles, 19 RCTs involving 4824 individuals (mean age: 66.0 years) met the inclusion criteria. Studies showed a mean quality score of 3.8/5 points.
Results revealed a significant positive effect of vitamin D supplementation on global muscle strength with a standardized mean difference (SMD) of 0.096 (95% CI = 0.007-0.184; p = 0.034). No significant between-study heterogeneity was found (Q-value = 23.6; p = 0.21; I2 =19.6%). Regarding the individual type of strength, results showed no significant effect on vitamin D supplementation on grip strength (SMD: 0.062, p = 0.264), but a significant positive effect on lower limb muscle strength (SMD: 0.169, p = 0.03).

Conclusions: Based on the studies included in this meta-analysis, vitamin D supplementation has a positive impact on global muscle strength, and more especially, on lower limb muscle strength.

Key messages

  • Vitamin D supplements increase muscle strength mainly at the lower limb. However, the exact effective dose needs to be assessed.
  • People with affection including low muscular strength, such as sarcopenia, should be supplemented with vitamin D.

VitaminDWiki comment

Apparently this study,like most other meta-analysis, gave no consideration of the DOSE size. So 400 IU experiments are given same weight as say 4,000 IU experiments (which would have a much higher benefit), Since a majority of the experiments during the past few decades are with low doses with little benefit it is amazing that we can still see any benefit at all.

See also VitaminDWiki

Overview Sports and vitamin D has the following summary

Athletes are helped by vitamin D by:

  1. Faster reaction time
  2. Far fewer colds/flus during the winter
  3. Less sore/tired after a workout
  4. Fewer micro-cracks and broken bones
  5. Bones which do break heal much more quickly
  6. Increased VO2 and exercise endurance Feb 2011
  7. Indoor athletes especially need vitamin D
  8. Professional indoor athletes are starting to take vitamin D and/or use UV beds
  9. Olympic athletes have used UV/vitamin D since the 1930's
  10. The biggest gain from the use of vitamin D is by those who exercise less than 2 hours per day.
  11. Reduced muscle fatigue with 10,000 IU vitamin D daily
  12. Muscle strength improved when vitamin D added: 3 Meta-analysis
  13. Reduced Concussions
    See also: Sports and Vitamin D category 274 items

Attached files

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