Effect of Vitamin D Supplementation on Muscle Status in Old Patients Recovering from COVID-19 Infection

Medicina (Kaunas). 2021 Oct 9;57(10):1079. doi: 10.3390/medicina57101079.


Background and Objectives: Vitamin D, in addition to its effect on mineral homeostasis, plays a key role in muscle metabolism. Vitamin D supplementation is involved in muscle recovery after damage as a consequence of either pathology or after high-intensity exercise. In this context, the aim of this study was to analyze the effect of vitamin D on muscle fitness in elderly patients in the recovery phase after SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) infection. Materials and Methods: This pilot study was conducted at the Soria Norte Health Center. The study consisted of a double-blind trial with two groups of men (placebo and vitamin D-supplemented) (n = 15/group). Treatment with vitamin D (cholecalciferol: 2000 IU/day) and placebo was carried out for 6 weeks. Circulating hematological and biochemical parameters (total protein, glucose, vitamin D, urea, uric acid, aspartate aminotransferase/glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase, alanine aminotransferase/glutamic-pyruvic transaminase, creatine kinase, lactate dehydrogenase, aldolase, gamma-glutamyl transferase and myoglobin) and the hormones cortisol and testosterone were determined. As for respiratory function tests, FEV1 and respiratory flow were also studied. For physical fitness tests, the "six-minute walk test" (6MWT) was used. Results: After vitamin D supplementation, we observed that serum creatine kinase levels returned to optimal values. This change suggests a protective role of vitamin D against muscle catabolism compared to placebo. In terms of physical test results, we observed only slight non-significant improvements, although patients reported feeling better. Conclusions: Vitamin D supplementation produces decreases in indicators of muscle damage, which may ultimately contribute to improving the health status and quality of life of patients who have suffered from COVID-19, during the recovery process.

Keywords: biochemistry; blood count; exercise; spirometry; vitamin D.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • COVID-19*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscles
  • Pilot Projects
  • Quality of Life
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin D Deficiency*


  • Vitamin D