Sarcopenia in post-menopausal women: Is there any role for vitamin D?

Maturitas. 2015 Sep;82(1):56-64. doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2015.03.014. Epub 2015 Mar 27.


Background: Recently, special attention has been given to the role of vitamin D on the pathogenesis and therapy of sarcopenia in postmenopausal women.

Aims: To elucidate the role of vitamin D with respect to sarcopenia in postmenopausal women, providing current evidence from both molecular and clinical studies.

Materials and methods: Systematic search to PubMed and Medline databases for publications reporting data on the role of vitamin D in sarcopenia.

Results: Sarcopenia has a high prevalence in postmenopausal women, leading to mobility restriction, functional impairment, physical disability and fractures. Accumulating evidence from molecular and clinical studies suggest that vitamin D deficiency is associated with sarcopenic status in elderly women independent of body composition, diet and hormonal status. Current data, but not in a uniform way, provide evidence about the beneficial effect of vitamin D supplementation on muscle strength, physical performance and prevention of falls and fractures in elderly female populations. It is still unclear if and to what extent treatment modalities, such as dose, mode of administration and duration of supplementation, could influence treatment outcome.

Conclusions: Studies with superior methodological characteristics are needed in order to establish a role for vitamin D on the treatment of sarcopenia in postmenopausal women.

Keywords: BMI; Fracture risk; Obesity; Osteoporosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls
  • Aged
  • Body Composition
  • Diet
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Female
  • Fractures, Bone / etiology
  • Fractures, Bone / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Postmenopause / blood*
  • Sarcopenia / blood
  • Sarcopenia / complications
  • Sarcopenia / drug therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vitamin D / blood
  • Vitamin D / therapeutic use*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / blood
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / complications
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / drug therapy*
  • Vitamins / therapeutic use*


  • Vitamins
  • Vitamin D