The lack of Vitamin D can be detrimental in many ways to the Health. On the one hand, the deficiency of this vitamin can cause the appearance of osteoporosis, due to the weakening of the bones. Although, during the Covid-19 It has also been found that the vast majority of hospitalized patients had low levels of this micronutrient.
Now, a new scientific study conducted in mice and published in the ‘Journal of Endocrinology’ has proven that there is strong evidence that a lack of vitamin D in the body can be detrimental to muscle function. Specifically, the lack of this vitamin reduces energy production in the different muscles of the human body.
According to the aforementioned study, the mice on which the research has been carried out show a deterioration of the mitochondrial function of the muscle due to the lack of vitamin D. All this would have a direct influence on muscle performance and recovery from it.
In conclusion, avoiding vitamin D deficiency in older adults could help maintain muscle function more adequately. In other words, having optimal levels of this micronutrient could help prevent age-related muscle deterioration. However, more in-depth research is needed on these implications.
How Vitamin D Influences Muscle Function
Vitamin D is proven to be a vital micronutrient for bone health, helping to prevent or delay diseases such as rickets, osteoporosis, or osteomalacia. In addition, the possible links between this vitamin and Covid-19 have recently been verified.
The lack of vitamin D is common in practically the entire European population and in recent times it has been linked to an increased risk of having cancer, diabetes or even being infected with Covid-19.
However, a new study has focused on muscle function. The research work has been developed in mice by Dr. Andrew Philip and his team from Garvan Institute Australian Medical Research Department; in addition to other collaborating universities.
The mice that participated in this research had vitamin D values of 30nmol.L1, and diet-induced deficiency of this vitamin led to levels of only 3nmol.L-1.
During the clinical trial, the researchers took monthly blood and tissue samples to quantify the concentrations of vitamin D and calcium; to assess the number of muscle mitochondria.
After three months of vitamin D deficiency, analyzes showed that skeletal muscle mitochondrial function was reduced by up to 37%.
After completing the study, Dr. Philip highlights the conclusion of the study: “Our results show that there is a clear relationship between vitamin D deficiency and the oxidative capacity of skeletal muscle. They suggest that vitamin D deficiency decreases mitochondrial function, rather than reducing the number of mitochondria in skeletal muscle. ‘
Continuing with his explanation, he emphasizes that “we are especially interested in examining whether this reduction in mitochondrial function may be a cause of age-related loss of skeletal muscle mass and function.”
Thus, these new findings suggest that a lack of vitamin D may be detrimental to mitochondrial function and limit the energy produced by the muscles. Therefore, avoiding a lack of vitamin D could be decisive in maintaining muscle performance.
In the same way, having optimal levels of vitamin D could help reduce the chances of having diseases associated with the muscles, such as sarcopenia. However, the authors of this research assure that it is convenient to carry out more in-depth studies to determine certain evidence in the relationship between the deficiency of this vitamin and muscle function.
On the other hand, the researchers were unable to determine precisely how this process occurs in which the lack of vitamin D affects the mitochondrial function of the muscle.