• 1 School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition, University of Aberdeen, Foresterhill, Aberdeen, AB252ZD, UK
  • 2 Norwich Medical School, University of East Anglia, Norwich, NR47TJ, UK
  • 3 School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition, University of Aberdeen, Foresterhill, Aberdeen, AB252ZD, UK.
Osteoporos Int, 2017 04;28(4):1433-1443.
PMID: 28083666 DOI: 10.1007/s00198-016-3901-3


The current study examined the relationship between vitamin D status and muscle strength in young healthy adults: residents (>6 months) and newcomers (0-3 months), originally from sunny climate countries but currently living in the northeast of Scotland. Our longitudinal data found a positive, albeit small, relationship between vitamin D status and knee extensor isometric strength.

INTRODUCTION: Vitamin D has been suggested to play a role in muscle health and function, but studies so far have been primarily in older populations for falls prevention and subsequent risk of fractures.

METHODS: Vitamin D status was assessed in a healthy young adults from sunny climate countries (n = 71, aged 19-42 years) with 56% seen within 3 months of arriving in Aberdeen [newcomers; median (range) time living in the UK = 2 months (9-105 days)] and the remainder resident for >6 months [residents; 23 months (6-121 months)]. Participants attended visits every 3 months for 15 months. At each visit, fasted blood samples were collected for analysis of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D], parathyroid hormone (PTH), carboxy-terminal collagen crosslinks (CTX) and N-terminal propeptide of type I collagen (P1NP). Maximal voluntary contractions (MVC) were performed for grip strength (both arms) and for maximal isometric strength of the knee extensors (right knee).

RESULTS: There were small seasonal variations in 25(OH)D concentrations within the newcomers and residents, but no seasonal variation in bone turnover markers. There was a positive, albeit small, association between 25(OH)D and knee extensor maximal isometric strength. Mixed modelling predicted that for each 1 nmol/L increase in 25(OH)D, peak torque would increase by 1 Nm (p = 0.04).

CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that vitamin D may be important for muscle health in young adults migrating from sunnier climates to high latitudes, yet the potential effect is small.

* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.