Vitamin D Promotes Muscle Function
Vitamin D is synthesized in the body in a reaction involving sunlight. Vitamin D can also be consumed in the diet by eating fatty fish, mushrooms and supplements. Several recent studies have linked low vitamin D levels to poor bone health, muscle weakness and deficiencies in reproductive hormones. However, the only health claims allowed by government agencies in the United States, Europe and Canada for vitamin D include reducing the risk of osteoporosis, preventing inflammation and promoting normal muscle function. A review of literature by Rachele Pojednic and Lisa Ceglia from Tufts University in Boston reported that lower blood levels of vitamin D were linked to lower aerobic capacity and higher body mass index. Vitamin D activates genes and cell-signaling chemicals that are critical for muscle hypertrophy, strength and improved muscle performance. In older adults, maintaining adequate vitamin D levels might contribute to fewer falls.
(Exercise Sports Science Reviews, 42: 76-81, 2014)