The role of vitamin D in improving physical performance in the elderly

Violet Lagari, Orlando Gõmez-Marín, Silvina Levis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


There is an ongoing debate over the role of serum 25(OH) vitamin D [25(OH)D] levels in maintaining or improving physical performance and muscle strength. Much of the controversy is because of the variability between studies in participants' characteristics, baseline serum 25(OH)D levels, and baseline physical functioning. The aim of this ancillary study conducted within a randomized controlled clinical trial was to investigate whether supplementation with 400 or 2000 IU vitamin D3 daily for 6 months would improve measures of physical performance and muscle strength in a community-dwelling elderly population aged 65 to 95 years. Those with the slowest gait speed improved their ability to do chair-stand tests after vitamin D supplementation. This finding remained significant after controlling for potential confounding variables. There was also an inverse correlation between serum 25(OH)D levels and fat mass index (FMI) among women, suggesting that higher supplementation with vitamin D is needed as weight increases. The results of this study suggest that supplementation with vitamin D may be most beneficial in older populations who have low baseline physical functioning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2194-2201
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Bone and Mineral Research
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2013


  • body composition
  • muscle strength
  • vitamin D

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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