A new study using rats has found Vitamin D supplementation improved the muscle fiber thickness in rats who were sedentary and were being fed either a high fat extra-virgin olive oil (HFEVO) diet or a regular diet.
28 rats participated in this 10 week trial. The rats were feed either a regular diet, a high fat extra-virgin olive oil diet (HFEVO) or a high-fat butter diet (HFB) and either received 4000 IU/kg of Vitamin D or no Vitamin D supplement. Skeletal muscle fiber thickness was assessed at the end of the study period. Additionally biomarkers of inflammation and muscle synthesis were also assessed.
Improvements in muscle fiber thickness were greater in the group on the HFEVO diet compared to the group being fed a regular diet. However, rats given Vitamin D supplementation saw significantly more increases in the thickness of their muscle fibers than rats not given any Vitamin D. Additionally researchers found rats fed a high-fat butter (HFB) diet who did not receive a Vitamin D supplement actually had a reduction in muscle fiber thickness and significantly higher amounts of interleukin-1 beta (IL-1B), an inflammatory molecule. These rats also showed a dramatic reduction in their insulin growth factor-1 (IGF-1), which has been a factor in reductions in muscle protein. Vitamin D however, seemed to prevent this muscle damage in the rats fed a HFB diet.
The loss of skeletal muscle mass, Sarcopenia, is commonly found in individuals as they age. Prior studies show Sarcopenia could be associated with obesity and a deficiency in Vitamin D has been linked to Sarcopenia.
Further studies should be done based on the results of these findings.
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