More than healthy bones: a review of vitamin D in muscle health

Ther Adv Musculoskelet Dis. 2015 Aug;7(4):152-9. doi: 10.1177/1759720X15588521.


Vitamin D has known importance to bone health including calcium and phosphate homeostasis and appears to have a role in skeletal muscle health as well. Cases of vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency have been associated with poor muscle health. While the exact effects and mechanism of action remains controversial, current data lean towards insufficient vitamin D playing a role in musculoskeletal pain, sarcopenia, myopathy, falls and indirectly via cerebellar and cognitive dysfunction. Sophisticated experimental techniques have allowed detection of the vitamin D receptor (VDR) on skeletal muscle and cerebellar tissue, which if validated in further large studies, could confirm the mechanism of vitamin D in these associations. While further study is required, vitamin D repletion can have a substantial impact on muscle as well as bone health.

Keywords: bone; calcitriol; calcium; cholecalciferol; ergocalciferol; falls; muscle; musculoskeletal pain; myopathy; sarcopenia; vitamin D; vitamin D deficiency; vitamin D receptors.

Publication types

  • Review