The Vitamin D is an essential micronutrient, optimal levels of this vitamin directly linked to the maintenance of our bodies and many essential functions in our body, still being vital for our bones and recommended during pregnancy.
If we talk about our muscles, vitamin D will play a key role, much greater than we think.
Parameters that influence the efficacy of vitamin D
The efficacy of vitamin D supplementation depends on several parameters, all of which should be considered in interventional protocols and in interpreting results. These parameters are …
- The characteristics of the subjects (gender, age, style and quality of life, genetic polymorphisms, ethnicity).
- The basal state of vitamin D.
- The period of treatment with vitamin D.
- The form of vitamin D (type of intake).
- The dose of vitamin D used.
Therefore, it is first necessary to consider that a vitamin D treatment plan to improve muscle health will be more effective if it is individualized.
Vitamin D decreases with age
Vitamin D values decline with increasing age and vitamin D deficiency is common among the elderly. Concomitantly with aging, physical function decreases, in particular muscle function, progressively leading to sarcopenia (degenerative loss of muscle mass and strength due to aging or sedentary lifestyle), and several studies have shown a link between vitamin D and these symptoms.
One of the strongest arguments linking vitamin D to muscle metabolism and function is the presence of the vitamin D receptor in this tissue, the expression of which diminishes as we age.
Why Vitamin D is Vital for Our Muscles?
The value of vitamin D in muscle health has been extensively studied, demonstrating in recent reviews its involvement in skeletal muscle function.
Vitamin D supplementation improves muscle quality and fiber type morphology, indicating a targeted action of vitamin D on skeletal muscle remodeling.
In addition, several studies have established that supplementation with vitamin D in healthy athletes, but deficient in this vitamin, improves muscle strength.
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Vitamin D activates protein synthesis
The effect of vitamin D treatment under conditions of protein anabolism stimulation has been studied by evaluating the state of activation of the mTOR signaling pathway (metabolic pathway that the body uses for muscle anabolism and protein synthesis) and measuring the rate Of protein synthesis.
The conclusion is that vitamin D activates protein synthesis primarily by amplifying the action of the stimulatory factors of the mTOR signaling pathway.
Vitamin D regulates mitochondrial function
Vitamin D has been shown to increase mitochondrial oxygen consumption and appears to improve mitochondrial biogenesis in human skeletal muscle cells.
In general, it has been revealed that vitamin D can regulate mitochondrial function, dynamics and enzyme function in human skeletal muscle cells, which probably influence muscle strength.
Therefore, studies clearly demonstrate that vitamin D modulates muscle proliferation and differentiation, as well as metabolism of muscle cells.
In turn, it has been shown that vitamin D can improve muscle performance and balance and reduce the risk of falls in older adults.
If you want optimal muscle function, maintain good levels of vitamin D
There is now clear evidence that vitamin D is essential for muscle health. Therefore, vitamin D supplementation has been considered to improve muscle strength and function in populations where muscles are immobilized, or where skeletal muscle strength and function are reduced.
However, other studies specifically designed to clarify the importance of vitamin D in muscle health and to delineate opportunities for vitamin D treatment with respect to the characteristics of study participants are needed.
This knowledge has important implications not only for older people or athletes, but also in all situations of loss of muscle mass and function, particularly in the context of chronic disease.
- Vitamin D deficiencies are associated with reduced muscle mass and strength.
- Vitamin D modulates the proliferation and differentiation of skeletal muscle.
- Vitamin D influences the metabolism of skeletal muscle cells, (anabolism).
- There is a genetic contribution of vitamin D to muscle functioning.