Vitamin D supplements may battle muscle fatigue and improve efficiency

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Vitamin D supplements may battle muscle fatigue and improve efficiency

Related tags: Vitamin d levels, Vitamin d

Supplementation with vitamin D could help to improve muscle functions in people with low levels of the sunshine vitamin, according to new research.

The data is the first time such a link has been found, and could help to explain the physical fatigue that is commonly experienced in people with low vitamin D levels, say the British researchers behind the study.

The team, led by Dr Akash Sinha from Newcastle University, UK, report that supplementation with vitamin D for between 10 and 12 weeks significantly improved muscle phosphocreatine recovery in people with vitamin D deficiency.

Sinha and his colleagues said the findings from the study have broad implications for a large section of society:

“Patients with vitamin D deficiency often experience symptoms of muscle fatigue​," explained Sinha, who presented the findings from the study at the Society for Endocrinology annual conference in the UK.

Previous research has suggested that vitamin D could help to reduce muscle and joint pain in cancer patients​ and could help to improve muscle power in obese people​, however these are the first findings to reveal a functional benefit to skeletal muscle from supplementation with the sunshine vitamin.

"Our findings in a small group of patients with very low vitamin D levels show that muscle efficiency significantly improves when vitamin D status is improved.’’

“We'll need further research in more patients to work out how this is happening and whether non-deficient patients can benefit from this too,” ​he said.

Study details

Sinha and his team investigated phosphocreatine recovery times in patients with vitamin D deficiency using magnetic resonance scans to measure phosphocreatine dynamics in response to exercise in the calf muscles of 12 patients with severe vitamin D deficiency - before and after supplementation with vitamin D.

The team found that phosphocreatine recovery significantly improved after the patients took a fixed dose of oral vitamin D for 10-12 weeks (average phosphocreatine recovery half time decreased from 34.4sec to 27.8sec, p<0.001).

All participants also reported an improvement in symptoms of fatigue following supplementation.

“This is the first time a link has been shown between vitamin D status and muscle aerobic function,"​ said Sinha, who added that a parallel study performed by the group demonstrated that low vitamin D levels are associated with reduced mitochondrial function.

The group added that while their studies were small, they establish a 'clear proof of principle' and for the first time confirm a link between vitamin D and mitochondria in humans.

Sinha and his colleagues will now explore the mechanisms underpinning this effect, and also aim to establish whether vitamin D supplementation could alleviate frailty in the elderly or improve the exercise capacity of athletes.

Source: Endocrine Abstracts
Abstract published online, doi: 10.1530/endoabs.31.OC1.6
"Improving the vitamin D status of vitamin D deficient adults is associated with improved mitochondrial oxidative function in skeletal muscle"
Authors: Akash Sinha, Kieren Hollingsworth, Steve Ball & Tim Cheetha

Related topics: Research, Suppliers, Supplements

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3 comments

Best Vitamin D Suppliments available in INDIA

Posted by munish kohli,

Which is the best vitamin D supplement available in india.

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Longer lasting weightloss

Posted by Michael Holm,

This is acctually interesting because if vitamin D can help build muscle in obese people then it also means that a vitamin supplement can help keep the weightloss over a longer period of time.

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More details

Posted by Franco ponti,

Where can I find additional info on this study ?

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