“Our findings in a small group of patients with very low vitamin D levels show that muscle efficiency significantly improves when vitamin D status is improved.”
New research shows for the first time a link between vitamin D levels and muscle efficiency.
Vitamin D supplementation may also be effective in improving skeletal muscle function. This study is presented today at the Society for Endocrinology annual conference in Harrogate, UK. The findings may explain the physical fatigue commonly experienced by patients with vitamin D deficiency, with broad implications for a large section of society.
Vitamin D is a hormone produced in the skin using energy from sunlight, and to a lesser extent derived from dietary sources. Vitamin D deficiency is a significant public health problem as diagnosed cases are on the rise and the hormone is essential for good bone health. Alongside poor bone health, muscle fatigue is a common symptom in vitamin D deficient patients. This fatigue could be due to a problem in the mitochondria: the ‘power stations’ within each cell of the body. Mitochondria use glucose and oxygen to make energy in a form that can be used to run the cell (an energy-rich molecule called ATP). Muscle cells need large amounts of ATP for movement and they use phosphocreatine as a ready and available energy source to make ATP. The mitochondria also replenish this phosphocreatine store after muscle contraction. Measurement of the time taken to replenish the phosphocreatine store is a measure of mitochondrial efficiency: better mitochondrial function is associated with shorter phosphocreatine recovery times.
Researchers from Newcastle University, led by Dr Akash Sinha who also works within the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, investigated phosphocreatine recovery times in patients with vitamin D deficiency. They employed a non-invasive magnetic resonance scan to measure phosphocreatine dynamics in response to exercise in the calf muscles of 12 patients with severe vitamin D deficiency before and after treatment with vitamin D. This is the first time a study of this kind has been conducted.
via Science Daily
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