Nutritional inadequacy in adults with muscular dystrophy

Muscle Nerve. 2005 Jun;31(6):713-8. doi: 10.1002/mus.20317.


Patients with muscular dystrophy may be prone to nutrient deficiency due to mobility limitations or oropharyngeal weakness. Patients with myotonic muscular dystrophy (DM1) may be particularly prone to nutritional deficiencies from associated dysmotility of the entire gastrointestinal tract. We prospectively evaluated nutritional intake, body composition, and muscle strength in adult patients with DM1 (n = 29) and other muscular dystrophies (n = 22) on two occasions separated by approximately 6 months. Handgrip was significantly lower and knee extension higher for DM1 compared to other dystrophies, with no between-group differences in nutritional intakes. Many patients in both groups demonstrated inadequate nutrient intake of protein, energy, vitamins (water and fat soluble), and minerals (calcium and magnesium). Significant correlations were found between measures of strength and certain individual nutrients (e.g., copper and water-soluble vitamins). These data indicate that a substantial number of adults with muscular dystrophy do not meet current dietary intake recommendations. The potential clinical implications of these findings are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Avitaminosis / diagnosis
  • Avitaminosis / physiopathology
  • Body Composition / physiology
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / metabolism
  • Dietary Proteins / metabolism
  • Energy Intake / physiology*
  • Exercise Tolerance / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Malnutrition / diagnosis*
  • Malnutrition / etiology*
  • Malnutrition / physiopathology
  • Minerals / metabolism
  • Muscle Contraction / physiology
  • Muscle Weakness / diagnosis
  • Muscle Weakness / etiology*
  • Muscle Weakness / physiopathology
  • Myotonic Dystrophy / complications*
  • Myotonic Dystrophy / physiopathology
  • Nutrition Policy
  • Prospective Studies


  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Proteins
  • Minerals