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NewsBites September 2018 Issue

Vitamin D Alone Does Not Help Muscles

vitamin D

© Bet_Noire | Getty Images

Donít count on vitamin D supplements to improve physical functioning.

It has been suggested that taking vitamin D supplements could help preserve muscle strength and functionality in older adults, but a new study concluded that supplementation alone had no impact on either muscle strength or physical performance.

Seventy-eight pre-frail or frail community-dwelling older adults with inadequate blood levels of vitamin D were given either a placebo pill or 800 IU of one of two forms of vitamin D (vitamin D3 or 25-hydroxyvitamin D3). After six months, blood levels of vitamin D increased to adequate levels in the supplemented groups, but overall there was no significant improvement on physical performance tests, or significant changes in knee-extension strength, muscle mass, or muscle fiber type and size.

To preserve physical functioning and quality of life with age, physical activity (at any level) has been shown to be effective.†

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