A study from the Netherlands shows that lack of vitamin D weakens muscles and taking that vitamin can correct that weakness.

The vast majority of North Americans have to depend on sunlight to meet their needs for vitamin D because they do not get enough from the foods that they eat. It is well known that lack of vitamin D weakens bones. This study shows that lack of vitamin D also weakens muscles and that when people who are deficient take vitamin D, their muscles get stronger. Vitamin D deficiency is common among people over 65, which helps to explain their unusual susceptibility to break their bones. Their muscle weakness increases their chances of falling and their bone weakness sets them up for fractures. All older people should get a bone density test to check the strength of their bones and if they do not get much sunlight, they should get a blood test for vitamin D deficiency.

Muscle strength, functional mobility and vitamin D in older women. HJJ Verhaar, MM Samson, PAF Jansen, PL deVreede, JW Manten, SA Duursma. Aging - Clinical and Experimental Research, 2000, Vol 12, Iss 6, pp 455-460.Address Verhaar HJJ, Univ Utrecht, Ctr Med, Dept Geriatr, POB 85500, Room W01-209, NL-3508 GA Utrecht, NETHERLANDS

Checked 5/3/07

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