Beyond its established role in bone and mineral homeostasis, there is emerging evidence that vitamin D exerts a range of effects in skeletal muscle. Reports of profound muscle weakness and changes in the muscle morphology of adults with vitamin D deficiency have long been described. These reports have been supplemented by numerous trials assessing the impact of vitamin D on muscle strength and mass and falls in predominantly elderly and deficient populations. At a basic level, animal models have confirmed that vitamin D deficiency and congenital aberrations in the vitamin D endocrine system may result in muscle weakness. To explain these effects, some molecular mechanisms by which vitamin D impacts on muscle cell differentiation, intracellular calcium handling, and genomic activity have been elucidated. There are also suggestions that vitamin D alters muscle metabolism, specifically its sensitivity to insulin, which is a pertinent feature in the pathophysiology of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. We will review the range of human clinical, animal, and cell studies that address the impact of vitamin D in skeletal muscle, and discuss the controversial issues. This is a vibrant field of researchandonethat continues to extend the frontiers ofknowledgeof vitamin D's broad functional repertoire.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism