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Bone Rep. 2018 Apr 18;8:163-167. doi: 10.1016/j.bonr.2018.04.004. eCollection 2018 Jun.

Vitamin D and muscle.

Gunton JE1,2,3,4, Girgis CM1,2,3,5.

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Centre for Diabetes, Obesity and Endocrinology Research, The Westmead Institute of Medical Research, Westmead, Sydney, Australia.
The Faculty of Medicine, The University of Sydney, Australia.
Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Westmead Hospital, Sydney, Australia.
Division of Immunology, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Sydney, Australia.
Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney, Australia.


Vitamin D is increasingly recognised to play an important role in normal muscle function. Low vitamin D status is associated with an increased risk of falls and proximal weakness. Since vitamin D deficiency is very common, and the signs are non-specific, it is important to maintain a high index of suspicion of vitamin D deficiency in patients with muscle pain and weakness, and it is simple to measure serum 25(OH) vitamin D. Therapy is cheap, safe and effective, but sometimes a larger dose may be needed, and, as shown in our case report, willingness of people to pay for an over the counter medication can be an issue. Following a striking case report that demonstrates muscle defects in severe vitamin D deficiency, we discuss clinical studies examining specific effects of vitamin D on physical performance, muscle strength and falls. Finally, we present an overview of molecular mechanisms that explain vitamin D's biological effects on muscle.


Muscle; Myalgia; Myopathy; Sarcopenia; Vitamin D

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