[Role of vitamin D in the neuro-muscular function]

Arq Bras Endocrinol Metabol. 2005 Aug;49(4):495-502. doi: 10.1590/s0004-27302005000400005. Epub 2005 Oct 19.
[Article in Portuguese]


Through its action in the kidney, intestines, bone and parathyroid glands vitamin D is a major regulator of calcium homeostasis and for the development of a healthy skeleton. Moreover, receptors for this hormone are present in almost all body tissues and other actions which are not related to the mineral metabolism have been imputed to it. In the skeletal muscle cell, vitamin D acts through the classic mechanism of binding to a nuclear receptor and also by binding to a membrane receptor, carrying out actions that involve calcium transport, protein synthesis and kinetics of muscle contraction. Clinically, vitamin D deficiency, which is very common among the elderly, including the ones in our country, has been related to an increase in the incidence of falls, as well as the reduction of muscle strength and deterioration of body sway, evaluated by the oscillation of the body in the erect position. On the other hand, it has been demonstrated that supplementation of calcium associated to vitamin D in deficient elderly contributes to the improvement of these aspects of the neuro-muscular function. In this review, the mechanisms involved in the association between vitamin D and neuro-muscular function will be discussed, as well as the supplementation of vitamin D and calcium to prevent non-vertebral osteoporotic fractures under the perspective of the neuro-muscular effects.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls
  • Aged
  • Aging / physiology
  • Calcitriol / physiology
  • Calcium / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology
  • Postural Balance / physiology*
  • Vitamin D / physiology*
  • Vitamin D / therapeutic use
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / physiopathology*


  • Vitamin D
  • Calcitriol
  • Calcium