Vitamin D and muscle trophicity

Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2017 May;20(3):169-174. doi: 10.1097/MCO.0000000000000358.


Purpose of review: We review recent findings on the involvement of vitamin D in skeletal muscle trophicity.

Recent findings: Vitamin D deficiencies are associated with reduced muscle mass and strength, and its supplementation seems effective to improve these parameters in vitamin D-deficient study participants. Latest investigations have also evidenced that vitamin D is essential in muscle development and repair. In particular, it modulates skeletal muscle cell proliferation and differentiation. However, discrepancies still exist about an enhancement or a decrease of muscle proliferation and differentiation by the vitamin D. Recently, it has been demonstrated that vitamin D influences skeletal muscle cell metabolism as it seems to regulate protein synthesis and mitochondrial function. Finally, apart from its genomic and nongenomic effects, recent investigations have demonstrated a genetic contribution of vitamin D to muscle functioning.

Summary: Recent studies support the importance of vitamin D in muscle health, and the impact of its deficiency in regard to muscle mass and function. These 'trophic' properties are of particular importance for some specific populations such as elderly persons and athletes, and in situations of loss of muscle mass or function, particularly in the context of chronic diseases.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Cell Proliferation / physiology
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Humans
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism*
  • Muscular Diseases / etiology
  • Muscular Diseases / metabolism*
  • Vitamin D / metabolism*
  • Vitamin D / therapeutic use
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / complications
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / metabolism*
  • Vitamins / therapeutic use


  • Vitamins
  • Vitamin D