Office Hours: Monday - Thursday 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Vitamin D for Muscle Strength

Vitamin D deficiencies are common in postmenopausal women and can lead to muscle weakness and an increased risk of falling, but new findings from Brazil suggest that women may be able to overcome both those problems by taking a daily supplement of 1000 IUs of vitamin D3. Researchers at Botucatu Medical School at Sao Paulo State University enrolled 160 women, ages 50 to 65, for the 9-month-long double blind, placebo-controlled trial. They estimated the women’s muscle mass via dual energy X-ray absorptiometry. They also tested handgrip strength as well as the ability of the women to rise from a chair. At the study’s end, the researchers reported that the women who received the D3 boosted their muscle strength by 25.3 percent while the women on the placebo actually lost an average of 6.8 percent of their muscle mass during the study period. The investigators also found that the women who took the placebo were nearly twice as likely to fall during the course of the investigation as the ones who were taking the supplement.