20 April 2021

What is the power?

Dr. Andrew Philp and his colleagues from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Australia found that mice with vitamin D deficiency have impaired mitochondrial function in myocytes. This can affect muscle function, performance, and recovery. It is possible that preventing vitamin D deficiency in the elderly will preserve muscle strength and reduce age-related muscle deterioration, but further research is needed to confirm this.

Vitamin D is known to be important for maintaining bone health and preventing rickets and osteoporosis. In recent years, it has been reported that vitamin D deficiency has been detected in 40% of Europeans and is associated with an increased risk of developing a number of diseases, including COVID-19, cancer and diabetes. Although these studies report a correlation rather than a causal relationship, the benefits of vitamin D supplements are currently the subject of active discussion. Many studies have also linked low vitamin D levels to insufficient muscle strength, especially in the elderly.

Skeletal muscles allow a person to perform arbitrary movements and perform everyday actions. It is very important that they have enough energy for these movements. Mitochondria convert nutrients into energy to meet this need. Previous studies have shown that impaired muscle strength in people with vitamin D deficiency may be associated with impaired mitochondrial function in muscle cells. But it is difficult to determine the role of vitamin D in the muscular activity of older people, since they may suffer from a number of previously appeared diseases that can also affect the amount of vitamin D in the body.

The researchers used mouse models to determine the effect of diet-induced vitamin D deficiency on skeletal muscle mitochondrial function in young male mice. Mice were given either food with a normal amount of vitamin D, or food without vitamin D, causing its deficiency, for 3 months.

The normal level of vitamin D for humans is 40-50 nmol/L, and vitamin D deficiency is diagnosed when its level falls below 12 nmol/l. On average, the mice in this study had vitamin D levels of 30 nmol/L, and diet-induced vitamin D deficiency led to a decrease of up to 3 nmol/L. Although this is much lower than is usually observed with a deficiency in humans, this amount still fell within the clinically recognized range.

Tissue and blood samples were taken monthly to quantify the concentration of vitamin D and calcium, as well as to assess markers of function and the number of mitochondria in muscle cells.

After three months of a vitamin D-deficient diet, the mitochondrial function of the skeletal muscles of mice was reduced to 37%. This was not due to a decrease in the number of mitochondria or a decrease in muscle mass.

The findings suggest that vitamin D deficiency can disrupt the mitochondria and reduce the amount of energy produced in the muscles, leading to deterioration of muscle function. Therefore, prevention of vitamin D deficiency in the elderly will support muscle performance and reduce the risk of muscle-related diseases. However, further studies are needed to confirm this, which will assess the direct effect of vitamin D deficiency on muscle function and strength.

Although this study has proven the effect of vitamin D on mitochondrial function in skeletal muscles, Dr. Philp and his group have not been able to pinpoint exactly how this process occurs. In the future, they plan to study what is the mechanism of the effect of vitamin D deficiency on mitochondria in skeletal muscle.

Article by S.P.Ashcroft et al. Diet-induced vitamin D deficiency reduces skeletal muscle mitochondrial respiration published in the Journal of Endocrinology.

Aminat Adzhieva, portal "Eternal Youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru according to the materials Press-News.org : Vitamin D deficiency may impair muscle function.

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