Is Vitamin D the Key to Muscle Function?

If you want to improve your body's muscle function, vitamin D may be the key. In this article, we explain how it works.
Is Vitamin D the Key to Muscle Function?
Karla Henríquez

Reviewed and approved by the doctor Karla Henríquez.

Last update: 26 May, 2022

Have you ever felt like your body isn’t reacting the way you think it should when you perform a physical activity? If that’s the case, it might be time to improve your muscle function. But how? Can a particular vitamin prove helpful?

Below, we’ll tell you why vitamin D is key to muscle functioning. We might even encourage you to consult your doctor regarding if it’s a good idea to take a vitamin D supplement to improve your health and quality of life.

Muscle function and vitamin D

Do you want to improve your muscle function? If so, you might need to make some changes in your exercise routine, your diet, and other factors. In addition, you may need to provide your body with certain extra nutrients.

A study conducted by the University of Birmingham determined that increased levels of vitamin D may improve muscle function.

For this reason, it’s considered that this vitamin positively favors the development of muscular strength and power and is an essential nutrient for this tissue.

The importance of vitamin D

A digital representation of vitamin D.

Their work was based on prior findings about the relationship between inactive vitamin D levels and body composition.

The scientists measured volunteers for their active and inactive levels of vitamin D. Plus, they also recorded certain physical characteristics, such as lean body mass and body fat.

However, scientists say that active vitamin D isn’t linked to body fat. Rather, it’s related to lean body mass.

Lean mass

They also noted that participants with increased muscle mass and lean body mass had higher levels of active vitamin D in their bloodstream.

In this regard, one of the authors of the study explained that there was a likelihood that body fat is associated with high levels of inactive vitamin D. They also pointed out that lean body mass is “key” to high levels of this nutrient.

More studies are needed

It’s critical to completely understand the big picture and all other mechanisms in this study. Their goal is to help design future studies that will answer important questions about optimal vitamin D levels and muscle tissues for healthy muscles.

This article may interest you: Why Vitamins Are Essential for Your Diet

Vitamin D and muscle function

The muscles in the body.

A study published by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that a continuous deficit of vitamin D leads to muscle weakness. On the other hand, in elderly people. the levels of this vitamin decrease with the passage of time.

However, this research showed that muscle weakness improved with the intake of vitamin D supplements. In fact, this vitamin is essential for the bones to properly absorb calcium and to reduce the formation of body fat.

In addition, vitamin D supplements may lead to:

A healthy immune system

Vitamin D is essential for the body’s defenses. It helps to quickly and effectively activate immune system cells. Therefore, if you tend to get sick easily, you can’t neglect this nutrient. Your quality of life and health will improve.

Healthy teeth and bones

Do you have cavities or osteoporosis? Having high levels of this micro-nutrient will help you have healthy teeth and bones, making them strong and resilient.

It’s responsible for allowing calcium to be absorbed by your bones and essential for maintaining bone consistency over the years. It also protects you from injuries and fractures.

A healthy nervous system

Calcium is one of the most important minerals for the human body. Having the right levels will decrease the chances of suffering from bone problems.

It’s also necessary for the proper transmission of certain nervous stimuli. Thus, it’s an essential nutrient for nervous system balance.

Adequate muscle function

As we explained above, vitamin D is key for good muscle function. Through a balanced diet, physical training, and healthy exposure to the sun, you’ll be able to maintain adequate levels of this micro-nutrient in your body.

This way, you’ll reduce the risk of serious injuries or fractures and alleviate muscle pain. You’ll also increase your strength, speed, and endurance during any physical activity you perform.

Vitamin D deficiency

A vitamin D deficiency is a problem for many people worldwide. It’s typically related to a sedentary lifestyle, aging, having a poorly balanced diet, and not getting enough sun exposure.

This deficit of this vitamin can cause or be associated with the following harmful effects for your health and muscle function:

  • Bowel and colon cancer
  • Arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Muscle weakness
  • Injuries in athletes
  • Fractures
  • Muscle pain

Watch your vitamin D levels

Vitamin D written in the sand.

Remember that sun exposure and a balanced diet help maintain optimal vitamin D levels. Its deficit can cause health problems.

Before taking any vitamin D supplement, go to a specialist and verify that there really is a problem. This way, you’ll be sure to take care of your body correctly and have better muscle function.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Zhang L., Quan M., Cao ZB., Effect of vitamin D supplementation on upper and lowe limb muscle strenght and muscle power in athletes: a meta anaylisis. PLoS One, 2019.
  • Janssen H., Samson MM., Verhaar HJJ., Vitamin D deficiency, muscle function, and falls in elderly people. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2002.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.