A Muscular Sign of Vitamin D Deficiency

Around half the world’s population is deficient in vitamin D.

Around half the world’s population is deficient in vitamin D.

Tiredness and weak muscles can be a sign of vitamin D deficiency, research finds.

As a result, people with low levels of vitamin D are at double the risk of mobility issues with age, scientists have found.

Other signs of vitamin D deficiency include poor sleep, symptoms of depression and headaches.

The vitamin is thought to play a role in regulating serotonin, a neurotransmitter important for mood.

Around half the world’s population is deficient in vitamin D.

The conclusions about mobility issues come from a study including 2,099 people aged 70-79 whose vitamin D levels were measured.

Dr Denise Houston, the study’s first author, explained the results:

“We observed about a 30 percent increased risk of mobility limitations for those older adults who had low levels of vitamin D, and almost a two-fold higher risk of mobility disability.”

Vitamin D is vital for muscle function and low levels have been linked to diseases including high blood pressure, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Dr Houston said:

“Higher amounts of vitamin D may be needed for the preservation of muscle strength and physical function as well as other health conditions.

However, clinical trials are needed to determine whether increasing vitamin D levels through diet or supplements has an effect on physical function.”

Vitamin D is critical to the functioning of the whole body.

From October to March many people in northern climes do not get enough vitamin D.

Vitamin D is found in oily fish, egg yolks, fortified cereals and some margarine spreads.

Most people need around 10 micrograms per day, which can also be obtained from supplements.

Vitamin D supports the mineral density of bones and aids neuromuscular function as well as reducing the risk of fracture.

The study was published in The Journals of Gerontology: Series A (Houston et al., 2012).


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This site is all about scientific research into how the mind works.

It’s mostly written by psychologist and author, Dr Jeremy Dean.

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Author: Jeremy Dean

Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology. He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book "Making Habits, Breaking Habits" (Da Capo, 2013) and several ebooks.