Int J Sports Med 2023; 44(12): 843-856
DOI: 10.1055/a-2116-9240

Current Research on Vitamin D Supplementation against Sarcopenia: A Review of Clinical Trials

Heidi Kressel
1   Centre for Biomedicine, Hull York Medical School, Hull, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Antonios Matsakas
1   Centre for Biomedicine, Hull York Medical School, Hull, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
› Author Affiliations


Vitamin D plays an important role in skeletal muscle function and metabolism. The aim of this review was A) to discuss the clinical evidence of vitamin D supplementation either alone or combined with other strategies in the prevention of sarcopenia in non-sarcopenic individuals and B) to critically discuss the clinical evidence on the effect of vitamin D combined with other strategies on muscle strength, mass and function in sarcopenic individuals without vitamin D deficiency. Sparse clinical data on non-sarcopenic individuals indicate that vitamin D alone has a subtle beneficial effect on knee extensor strength at doses 880–1600 IU/day without improving handgrip strength or muscle mass. When co-administered with other supplements such as protein, mixed effects appear to prevent the decline of muscle mass, possibly delaying the onset of sarcopenia in non-sarcopenic individuals, at doses of 800–1,000 IU/day over 6–12 weeks. In sarcopenic individuals, vitamin D 100–1,000 IU/day co-supplementation with protein results in increased handgrip strength between 9.8–40.5%. However, there is no strong clinical evidence that vitamin D dosage correlates with changes in muscle strength or mass. Potential sources of discrepancy among studies are discussed. Future studies with appropriate experimental design are essential to dissect the net effect of vitamin D on sarcopenia.

Publication History

Received: 09 January 2023

Accepted: 06 June 2023

Article published online:
09 August 2023

© 2023. Thieme. All rights reserved.

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