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New meta-analysis shows vitamin D helps increase lower limb muscle strength

Posted on: October 28, 2013   by  Vitamin D Council


Researchers presenting at the 2013 American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Meeting have found a positive relationship between vitamin D and muscle strength.

A Belgian research team conducted a meta-analysis, led by Charlotte Beaudart, MPH. They searched and found 214 randomized controlled trials between 1966 and February 2013 that looked at the effect of vitamin D on muscle strength. Of the total gathered, 19 studies met their inclusion criteria.

“All forms and doses of vitamin D supplementation, with or without calcium supplementation, compared with placebo or control were included,” Beaudart stated. “Muscle strength was assessed either by grip strength and/or lower limb muscle strength.”

In all, there were 4,824 participants in these 19 studies. The average age was 66 years old.

Thirteen studies observed effects of vitamin D supplementation on grip strength, while 15 observed effects of supplementation on lower limb muscle strength.

Results showed no significance between vitamin D supplements and grip strength, but did show significance in supplements increasing lower limb muscle strength.


Dantoni, T. Vitamin D Supplementation Increases Lower Limb Muscle Strength. Monthly Prescribing Reference, 2013.

5 Responses to New meta-analysis shows vitamin D helps increase lower limb muscle strength

  1. Rita and Misty

    Such great news for runners….

  2. Ron Carmichael

    Most sports require enhanced core strength in order to develop excellence, including archery. While this focuses on a specific group of muscles I feel it makes no sense to expect that the effect is isolated to only a specific area of the body. Blood and that which it carries go *everywhere* in the body. Every major tissue in the body has receptor sites for the vitamin D molecule. Any person involved in athletic performance and development needs to understand this fundamental aspect of not only elite performance but fundamental life health.

  3. Rita and Misty

    Ron, I thought the attached might hold interest for you:

    Vitamin D3 supplementation modulates inflammatory responses from the muscle damage induced by high-intensity exercise in SD rats.


    (There s/b a link for full text…if it doesn’t work let me know, and I will send full text to you)

  4. Rogerio Luz Coelho

    The problem with most studies done so far with muscle strength and even athletic performance and Vitamin D is that these studies are done in OLDER, NON ATHLETE populations. And this seems the norm.

    We are presently studying athletes and even those who train 6-8 times a week (professionals) and exposed to sun, have some 20% of deficiency (below 20 ng/dL – 50 nmol/L).

    I am hoping to being able to make a placebo double-blind study with professional athletes and diverse vitamin D intake/status, but am not quite there yet.

  5. Rogerio Luz Coelho

    Sorry … my athletes are below 30 ng/dL (75 nmol/L) …

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