Posted on Jun 17, 2016, 6 a.m.
Taking vitamin D supplements can help to increase muscle strength and reduce the loss of muscle mass in women long after menopause.
New research suggests that taking vitamin D supplements can help women to significantly increase their muscle strength and reduce the loss of muscle mass for at least 12 years after menopause. Dr LM Cangussu, from the Botucatu Medical School at Sao Paulo State University (Brazil), and colleagues conducted the double-blind, placebo-controlled trial over a nine-month period. Muscle mass was estimated by total-body DXA (dual energy X-ray absorptiometry), as well as by handgrip strength and through a chair-rising test. Results showed that women receiving the supplements exhibited a significant increase (+25.3%) in muscle strength at the end of the study, whereas those assigned to a placebo actually lost an average of 6.8% of muscle mass. Women not receiving Vitamin D supplements were also nearly two times as likely to fall. "We concluded that the supplementation of Vitamin D alone provided significant protection against the occurrence of sarcopenia, which is a degenerative loss of skeletal muscle,” said Cangussu.
Cangussu LM, Nahas-Neto J, Orsatti CL, Dias FB, Schmitt EB, Nahas EA. A randomized study on the effect of vitamin D3 supplementation on skeletal muscle function in fallers postmenopausal women. Abstract presented at the North American Menopause Society Annual Meeting 2015. 30th September – 3rd October, 2015. Las Vegas, United States of America.