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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Vitamin D Deficiency, hypocalcemia, and increased skeletal muscle degradation in rats.

The myopathy associated with vitamin D deficiency was examined in vitamin D-deficient and vitamin D-supplemented rats. When compared with either vitamin D-supplemented ad lib. or pair-fed rats, weight gain and muscle mass were decreased in vitamin D-deficient hypocalcemic animals. With the exception of a modest decrease in muscle creatine phosphate levels, muscle composition was unchanged by vitamin D deficiency. Muscle protein turnover rates were determined in both in vivo and in vitro studies and demonstrated that myofibrillar protein degradation was increased in vitamin D deficiency. Normal growth rates could be maintained be feeding the rats vitamin D-deficient diets containing 1.6% calcium, which maintained plasma calcium within the normal range. In addition to its role in maintaining plasma calcium, vitamin D-supplemented rats had significantly higher levels of the anabolic hormone insulin. Vitamin D supplementation may affect muscle protein turnover by preventing hypocalcemia, as well as directly stimulating insulin secretion, rather than by a direct effect within skeletal muscle.[1]


  1. Vitamin D Deficiency, hypocalcemia, and increased skeletal muscle degradation in rats. Wassner, S.J., Li, J.B., Sperduto, A., Norman, M.E. J. Clin. Invest. (1983) [Pubmed]
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