Vitamin D improves muscle strength but not mobility in community-dwelling elderly

Vitamin D supplementation and its influence on muscle strength and mobility in community-dwelling older persons: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Rosendahl-Riise et al., JHND Early View

Background

It has been suggested that vitamin D status or supplementation is important for maintaining or improving muscle strength and mobility in older adults. The study results, however, do not provide consistent results. We therefore aimed to summarise the available evidence systematically, including only studies conducted in community-dwelling older persons.

Methods

A systematic search of the literature was performed in April of 2016. The systematic review includes studies that used vitamin D with or without calcium supplementation as the exposure variable and various measurements of muscle strength and mobility. The meta-analysis was limited to studies using hand grip strength (HGS) and timed-up-and-go test as the outcome variables.

Results

A total of 15 studies out of 2408 articles from the literature search were included in the systematic review, providing 2866 participants above the age of 65 years. In the majority of studies, no improvement in muscle strength and mobility was observed after administration of vitamin D with or without calcium supplements. In the meta-analysis, we observed a nonsignificant change in HGS [+0.2 kg (95% confidence interval = −0.25 to 0.7 kg; seven studies)] and a small, significant increase in the timed-up-and-go test [0.3 s (95% confidence interval = 0.1 to 0.5 s; five studies)] after vitamin D supplementation. The meta-analyses showed a high degree of heterogeneity between the studies.

Conclusions

In conclusion, we observed no improvement in muscle strength after the administration of vitamin D with or without calcium supplements. We did find a small but significant deterioration of mobility. However, this is based on a limited number of studies and participants.

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