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Increased Levels of Active Vitamin D Linked to Improved Muscle Strength

Vitamin D deficiency in mature adults has previously been linked to loss of muscle mass and strength. A recent study suggests that increasing levels of the active form of vitamin D may improve muscle strength.


The active form of vitamin D is called calcitriol. Calcitriol circulates in the blood, regulating the concentration of calcium and phosphate and promoting the healthy growth and remodeling of bone

Participants in the study included 116 people between the ages of 20 and 74. All of the participants fasted before the 1-day visit and collected a urine sample previous to the visit. The researchers collected medical history, body fat, lean mass, and measure of muscle bulk. They also conducted grip strength testing using a handheld dynamometry and assessed jump height using jump-plate mechanography.


The active form of vitamin D is called calcitriol. Calcitriol circulates in the blood, regulating the concentration of calcium and phosphate and promoting the healthy growth and remodeling of bone.


The researchers found that higher levels of calcitrol were associated with more power, better velocity, and higher jump height.  They also found that women with lower body fat composition were unlikely to have high levels of inactive vitamin D, which is a marker of vitamin D deficiency. Additionally, participants with higher lean mass and muscle bulk had higher levels of active vitamin D.


Researchers from the University of Birmingham conducted the study. It was published on February 15, 2017, in PLOS One.


Previous studies have associated vitamin D with improved lipid profiles in diabetics, lower risk of asthma and allergies in children, reducing the risk of skin damage, reducing the risk of osteoporosis, combating diabetes, lower risk of cognitive decline, and improving age-related macular degeneration.


Vitamin D can be found in milk, fortified cereals, fish, and eggs. Your body also processes vitamin D from the sun but it becomes harder for our bodies to process it as we age. A high quality vitamin D supplement is always a good option if you feel that you’re not getting enough through diet and sun.

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