I’ve blogged before about the astonishing health benefits of supplementing with Vitamin D.
But can it also help accelerate muscle growth?
In the aforementioned article I quoted from the MyProtein site…
“There is also some evidence to suggest Vitamin D levels are associated with the maintenance of power and strength by potentially increasing the size and number of fast twitch fibres.”
But I wasn’t sure about the accuracy of the statement.
It seems that a study  undertaken last year does back this up somewhat.
Researchers took the muscle cells that divide after muscle damage (C2C12 cells) from mice and exposed them to vitamin D (in-vitro).
The result was an acceleration in the production of Fast Type II muscle fibers.
Of course it is the fast twitch type2 muscle fibers that are predominantly responsible for muscle growth. (If you don’t now your fast twitch from slow twitch muscle fibers, read this MuscleHack article – “How To Flip The ‘Growth Switch’ For New Muscle Gains“.)
You may be rightly justified in thinking that this may only apply to mice, but it’s interesting nevertheless and adds to a list of studies associating vitamin D with muscle growth, including this one on increased testosterone levels . (Remember that vitamin D is actually a hormone; a hormone that regulates about 3% of our genes).
But aside from anything else, you SHOULD be supplementing with vitamin D for your health. Do it! You won’t regret it, especially if you’re not lucky enough to live in a country that gets a lot of sunshine.
Most experts in the field (and also from this page on Dr. Mercola’s website) recommended a dosage of 5000 IU (international units) per day.
Living in not-so-sunny Ireland I take 10,000 IU per day, which I would recommend for everyone round these parts (you listening my Scottish brothers??).
But don’t buy anything until you read this: You specifically need to get Vitamin D3 as Cholecalciferol capsules.
This is the brand and strength I take: Healthy Origins Vitamin D3. You get 360 capsules for $23.19, which is less than 30 bucks for a whole year’s supply!!
At MyProtein UK they stock it too here. They only sell 2500 IU capsules, but it’s a very cheap way to start supplementing and see what you think – £8.29.
Stay Healthy, Happy, Muscular, and Lean
 1,25(OH)2vitamin D3 stimulates myogenic differentiation by inhibiting cell proliferation and modulating the expression of promyogenic growth factors and myostatin in C2C12 skeletal muscle cells.
Garcia LA, King KK, Ferrini MG, Norris KC, Artaza JN. Endocrinology. 2011 Aug;152(8):2976-86. Epub 2011 Jun 14.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21673099
 Association of vitamin D status with serum androgen levels in men.
Wehr E, Pilz S, Boehm BO, März W, Obermayer-Pietsch B. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2010 Aug;73(2):243-8. Epub 2009 Dec 29. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20050857