This systematic review demonstrates that vitamin D supplementation does not have a significant effect on muscle strength in vitamin D replete adults. However, a limited number of studies demonstrate an increase in proximal muscle strength in adults with vitamin D deficiency.
Introduction: The purpose of this study is to systematically review the evidence on the effect of vitamin D supplementation on muscle strength in adults.
Methods: A comprehensive systematic database search was performed. Inclusion criteria included randomised controlled trials (RCTs) involving adult human participants. All forms and doses of vitamin D supplementation with or without calcium supplementation were included compared with placebo or standard care. Outcome measures included evaluation of strength. Outcomes were compared by calculating standardised mean difference (SMD) and 95% confidence intervals.
Results: Of 52 identified studies, 17 RCTs involving 5,072 participants met the inclusion criteria. Meta-analysis showed no significant effect of vitamin D supplementation on grip strength (SMD -0.02, 95%CI -0.15,0.11) or proximal lower limb strength (SMD 0.1, 95%CI -0.01,0.22) in adults with 25(OH)D levels > 25 nmol/L. Pooled data from two studies in vitamin D deficient participants (25(OH)D <25 nmol/L) demonstrated a large effect of vitamin D supplementation on hip muscle strength (SMD 3.52, 95%CI 2.18, 4.85).
Conclusion: Based on studies included in this systematic review, vitamin D supplementation does not have a significant effect on muscle strength in adults with baseline 25(OH)D >25 nmol/L. However, a limited number of studies demonstrate an increase in proximal muscle strength in adults with vitamin D deficiency.