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Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2014 Nov;17(6):546-50. doi: 10.1097/MCO.0000000000000104.

Vitamin D and muscle function in the elderly: the elixir of youth?

Author information

1
aGarvan Institute of Medical Research bFaculty of Medicine, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia.

Abstract

PURPOSE OF REVIEW:

Circumstantial evidence suggests that vitamin D deficiency may contribute to age-related changes in skeletal muscle. This review discusses recent clinical trials examining effects of vitamin D on muscle function in the elderly, and poses the important question: can vitamin D reverse muscle ageing?

RECENT FINDINGS:

Observational studies report an association between vitamin D and muscle atrophy/weakness in elderly subjects. Interventional studies suggest that frail, elderly subjects may benefit from vitamin D supplementation by displaying reduced falls, improved muscle function and increased muscle fibre size. However, meta-analyses do not report convincing effects of vitamin D in the elderly. This may be because of multiple factors including lack of standardized endpoints for muscle function, variable study design and different doses of vitamin D supplementation amongst these studies. The evidence base is therefore inconsistent.

SUMMARY:

Vitamin D deficiency may exacerbate ageing of skeletal muscle. However, current evidence that vitamin D supplementation reverses age-related muscle dysfunction is equivocal and does not justify stringent vitamin D targets in the elderly. Until these issues are clarified, the safest option is to aim for conservative vitamin D targets that are sufficient for normal calcium homeostasis.

PMID:
25181259
DOI:
10.1097/MCO.0000000000000104
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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