News And Notes

Vitamin D Maintains Muscle Strength

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INDIANAPOLIS -- Vitamin D supplementation should be examined as a strategy to maintain muscle strength in adults, according to research published in the official journal of the American College of Sports Medicine.

This study, in the January edition of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise®, shows that research participants with higher levels of vitamin D also had more muscle strength, even after adjusting for multiple other factors.

"The results of this study indicate that vitamin D may be a viable treatment for muscle strength loss in adults," said primary investigator Paul D. Thompson, MD, FACSM, chief of cardiology at Hartford Hospital, Hartford, CT. "This is a key area of aging research since people lose strength as they age, but maintaining muscle strength helps prevent falls and fractures, and preserves the ability to live independently."

The researchers tested arm and leg strength in more than 400 adults participating in a study of how the statin cholesterol drugs affect exercise performance. The researchers examined the relationship of vitamin D to muscle strength after controlling for age, gender, resting heart rate, systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), body mass index (BMI), maximal oxygen uptake (VO2 max), physical activity counts, and season of vitamin D measurement. Vitamin D levels had a stronger association with arm strength than leg strength.

Findings indicate that vitamin D may be an effective treatment to preserve muscle strength in older adults. Further research is needed to determine conclusively whether vitamin D maintains or increases muscle strength with aging as well as the appropriate amounts of vitamin D when consumed as a part of diet, supplementation, or through sun exposure.

The American College of Sports Medicine is a sports medicine and exercise science organization with more than 45,000 international, national and regional members and certified professionals. The ACSM seeks to advance and integrate scientific research to provide educational and practical applications of exercise science and sports medicine.

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise® is the official journal of the American College of Sports Medicine.

Visit www.acsm.org.

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