Vitamin D is one of the most important nutrients for development and maintenance of our bones. Calcium combines with Vitamin D and loses its efficacy in the latter’s absence. As we remain most or the time indoors, away from sun, which is the main source of Vitamin D, we are now more prone to Vitamin D deficiency.
With the deficiency of Vitamin D, the development of bones gets hampered and they become weak. Well the vitamin is also important cellular growth and its deficiency can cause pain in bones, also fracture-prone bones, unexplained fatigue, muscle weakness.
So Vitamin D is equally important for men as well as women. University of Manchester experts suggest that low levels of vitamin D in middle-aged men may cause loss of strength and muscle mass.
The deficiency of Vitamin D can also lead to frailty leading a man to experience gradual dip in the energy levels and physical capacity. Men with low Vitamin D, and insulin-like growth factor -1 (IGF-1) and its binding protein 3 (IGFBP3) were more prone to frailty.
Men of older age with lower levels of hormone dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S) were linked to higher risk of worsening frailty. DHEA-S possesses direct anabolic effect on muscle mass.
"Vitamin D, besides maintaining bone health, regulates muscle function and low vitamin D levels are linked to lower muscle mass and strength. IGF-1 affects muscle growth and repair and its action and levels are modified by its carrier protein IGFBP3," lead author Agnieszka Swiecicka.
"We showed novel associations between anabolic hormone levels and changes in frailty levels in ageing men. This can facilitate early identification of individuals who are at risk and the development of new treatments and prevention strategies," Swiecicka concluded.
The lead author also told about the importance of conducting further trials in order to find out if giving these hormones to middle-aged and elderly men can help in preventing development of frailty.