Vitamin D deficiency is a common health problem worldwide, in particular among older people. Vitamin D regulates and modulates the physiology and function of multiple human systems, including the skeletal muscle. The effect of vitamin D on the muscle has been widely investigated, suggesting that this hormone can stimulate the proliferation and differentiation of skeletal muscle fibers, maintaining and improving muscle strength and physical performance. Older persons have a higher prevalence of low Vitamin D levels as a consequence of low dietary intake and reduced ultraviolet irradiation of the skin. Therefore, older people with vitamin D deficiency might be at risk of sarcopenia, a geriatric syndrome characterized by the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength often complicated by adverse events, such as falls, disability hospitalization and death. Several randomized clinical trials have been conducted to investigate the effect of oral vitamin D supplementation in older patients to prevent or treat sarcopenia, but results are still controversial. In this narrative review we summarize the biological, clinical and epidemiological evidence supporting the hypothesis of a causal association between Vitamin D deficiency and an increased risk of sarcopenia in older people.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited