A Systematic Review of the Role of Vitamin D on Neuromuscular Remodelling Following Exercise and Injury
Biant, Leela C.
Ralston, Stuart H.
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Minshull, C., Biant, L., Ralston, S. & Gleeson, N. (2016) A Systematic Review of the Role of Vitamin D on Neuromuscular Remodelling Following Exercise and Injury. Calcified Tissue International, 98, pp. 426-437.
Vitamin D is important for skeletal muscle health and deficiency is associated with clinical neuromuscular symptoms of poor strength and gait. Supplementation can independently increase muscle strength in chronically deficient populations. However, the regulatory role of vitamin D on neuromuscular remodelling and adaptation subsequent to exercise conditioning or injury has not been systematically reviewed. Objective: to systematically review the available evidence of the role of vitamin D on neuromuscular remodelling following exercise conditioning, exercise- or experimentally induced injury. We searched Medline (OVID platform), PubMed, Embase and Web of Science for randomised controlled trials (RCTs) including measures of neuromuscular function, injury and/or inflammation; a physiologically stressful intervention involving exercise conditioning, exercise- or experimentally induced injury and; vitamin D supplementation. Nine RCTs met the inclusion criteria. Significant heterogeneity of methodological approaches and outcomes meant that meta-analysis of data was limited. Qualitative findings indicated that vitamin D may be an effective accelerant of neuromuscular remodelling in animal models (24-140 % improved recovery vs. control); the effects in humans are inconclusive and likely influenced by baseline vitamin D and supplementation strategy. Results of the meta-analyses indicated no effect of vitamin D supplementation on muscle strength adaptation following resistance training [standardised mean difference (SMD): 0.74, P = 0.42] or muscle damage (SMD: -0.03, P = 0.92), although inflammatory markers were elevated in the latter (SMD: 0.56, P = 0.04). Data from animal models offer promising and plausible mechanisms for vitamin D as an agent for neuromuscular adaptation. Further high-quality research is needed to offer clearer insight into the influential role of vitamin D in human populations.