HomeLifestyleHealth & FitnessExperts warn of a new serious implication due to Vitamin D deficiency

Experts warn of a new serious implication due to Vitamin D deficiency

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A new scientific study confirms that vitamin D deficiency impairs the body’s muscle function

The lack of vitamin D can be harmful in many ways for 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 pandemic it has also been found that the vast majority of hospitalized patients had low levels of this micronutrient.

Vitamin D has been shown 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.

Now, a new scientific study carried out in mice and published in the ‘Journal of Endocrinology’ led by Dr. Andrew Philip and his team from the Garvan Institute for Medical Research in Australia; in addition to other collaborating universities, has found that there is important 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.

The study shows 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.

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 vitamin D and calcium concentrations; 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 highlights 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.

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.

In conclusion, avoiding vitamin D deficiency in older adults could contribute to maintaining muscle function more adequately. In other words, having optimal levels of this micronutrient could help prevent age-related muscle deterioration. However, further research is needed on these implications.

Image Credit: Getty

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