Vitamin D Deficiency Can Lead to Major Muscle Loss

Medscape Staff

February 09, 2023

Vitamin D plays a major role in the regulation of calcium and phosphorus absorption. A deficiency increases the risk of muscle loss by 78%, according to researchers at Brazil’s Federal University of São Carlos and University College London in the United Kingdom.

What to Know

  • Vitamin D plays an important role in the regulation of calcium and phosphorus absorption and helps keep the brain and immune system working.

  • Endocrine disorders such as vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency can lead to loss of bone mineral density as well as a reduction in muscle mass, strength, and function.

  • Vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of developing an age-associated loss of muscle strength called dynapenia, which is a major risk factor for physical incapacity later in life.

  • Vitamin D supplementation reduces the risk of dynapenia in older people by 78%.

  • Humans only synthesize vitamin D when large areas of skin are exposed to sunlight, so people risk losing muscle strength if they don't get enough vitamin D by being exposed to the sun, eating food rich in vitamin D, or taking a supplement.

This is a summary of the article, "Are Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Deficiency and Insufficiency Risk Factors for the Incidence of Dynapenia?," published in the journal Calcified Tissue International and Musculoskeletal Research on December 13, 2022. The full article can be found on

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