Almost everyone has heard how important vitamin D is for the healthy bones of our growing children, women around menopause, and for our aging population. What you may not have heard is the emerging evidence that vitamin D has a big effect on your muscles. Fairway Market’s incredible vitamin section has you covered.
What started it all off were the reports of muscle weakness and atrophy in adults with vitamin D deficiency, which led scientists to begin investigating the impact of vitamin D on strength and muscle mass.
Theories began to emerge that ranged from some kind of mechanisms by which vitamin D acts directly on muscle cells, to an influence on calcium-handling (calcium is essential for muscle contraction), to an effect in lowering something called “myostatin” (a protein in the blood which inhibits muscle growth), to even some kind of influence vitamin D has at the genetic level. While we don’t yet know for sure how it’s happening, we do know that vitamin D helps our muscles.1
One clinical study published earlier this year showed some astounding results. The study examined the relation between serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D (25(OH)D) levels and muscle strength in healthy men and women. The study looked at 419 men and women ages 20-76. The researchers measured strength in the arms and legs of these subjects and found that those with higher vitamin D levels had higher levels of strength. The study added to the evidence of a direct relationship between vitamin D and muscle strength, suggesting vitamin D supplementation might be an effective therapy to preserve muscle strength in adults.2
While vitamin D can be found in foods like fortified milk, fish, and eggs, the sun contributes significantly to the daily production of vitamin D in the body. In fact, exposure to as little as 10 minutes of sunlight each day can be enough to prevent a deficiency.
Vitamin D comes in two forms that are important to humans: ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) and cholecalciferol (vitamin D3). While we need both types, the D3 form is the one synthesized by humans in the skin when exposed to sunlight.3
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommend adults take in around 600 IUs of vitamin D each day.4 If you are cautious about sunlight exposure and concerned you may not be getting enough vitamin D in your diet, a dietary supplement form may be right for you. Fairway Market not only provides a plethora of foods rich in vitamin D, but just stroll through the vitamin section and you’ll see a myriad of supplement choices, along with an educated staff to help you muscle up with vitamin D!
Solgar Vitamin D 1000 IU, on sale for $6.99 through November 28, 2013.
- Grimaldi AS, et al. 25(OH) Vitamin D is associated with greater muscle strength in healthy men and women. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2013 Jan;45(1):157-62. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e31826c9a78. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22895376