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Vitamin D and muscle function

CIC Edizioni internazionali
  • 612.7 Sistema Muscoloscheletrico
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VITAMIN D_Bischoff-Ferrari.qxd 58 Clinical Cases in Mineral and Bone Metabolism 2006; 3(1): 58-59 Heike A. Bischoff-Ferrari Department of Rheumatology and Institute for Physical Medicine University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland Address for correspondence: Heike A. Bischoff-Ferrari, M.P.H. Department of Rheumatology and Institute for Physical Medicine University Hospital Zurich Gloriastrasse 25, 8091 Zurich, Switzerland Ph. +41 (044) 2552699 Fax +41 (044) 2554388 E-mail: [email protected]; [email protected] Maintenance of musculoskeletal function and fall prevention are important public health targets in a rapidly aging population (1). Sarkopenia is prevalent in older persons and resulting in falls among 30% percent of those 65 years or older, and 40- 50% of those 80 years or older (2, 3). Several beneficial effect of vitamin D have been described, the most established one being improved bone mineral density and fracture prevention (4-6). On the other hand, muscle weak- ness is also a prominent feature of the clinical syndrome of vit- amin D deficiency (7, 8) and may plausibly mediate fracture risk through an increased susceptibility to falls (7, 9-13). In fact, vitamin D appears to directly improve muscle strength (14, 15) and effects on muscle strength occur within 8-12 weeks (10, 11, 16). A possible explanation for the beneficial effect of vitamin D on fall risk is that 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, the active vitamin D metabolite, binds to a highly specific nuclear receptor in mus- cle tissue (17, 18) leading to improved muscle strength and thus to a reduced risk of falling. It is currently believed that, apart from rapid genome-independent calcium fluxes, 1,25-di- hydroxyvitamin D elicits its biological response through the ac- tivation of the vitamin D receptor (VDR), which leads to de no- vo protein synthesis, affecting muscle cell growth (7, 11). In one study, which illustrates this hypothesis, treatment with 1- alpha-hydroxyvitamin D increased the relative number a

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