Bislev LS1,2, Sundekilde UK3,4, Kilic E3, Dalsgaard TK3,4, Rejnmark L1,2, Bertram HC3,4.
Nutrients. 2020 May 4;12(5). pii: E1310. doi: 10.3390/nu12051310.
Recently, we demonstrated negative effects of vitamin D supplementation on muscle strength and physical performance in women with vitamin D insufficiency. The underlying mechanism behind these findings remains unknown. In a secondary analysis of the randomized placebo-controlled trial designed to investigate cardiovascular and musculoskeletal health, we employed NMR-based metabolomics to assess the effect of a daily supplement of vitamin D3 (70 µg) or an identically administered placebo, during wintertime. We assessed the serum metabolome of 76 postmenopausal, otherwise healthy, women with vitamin D (25(OH)D) insufficiency (25(OH)D < 50 nmol/L), with mean levels of 25(OH)D of 33 ± 9 nmol/L. Compared to the placebo, vitamin D3 treatment significantly increased the levels of 25(OH)D (-5 vs. 59 nmol/L, respectively, p < 0.00001) and 1,25(OH)2D (-10 vs. 59 pmol/L, respectively, p < 0.00001), whereas parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels were reduced (0.3 vs. -0.7 pmol/L, respectively, p < 0.00001). Analysis of the serum metabolome revealed a significant increase of carnitine, choline, and urea and a tendency to increase for trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO) and urinary excretion of creatinine, without any effect on renal function. The increase in carnitine, choline, creatinine, and urea negatively correlated with muscle health and physical performance. Combined with previous clinical findings reporting negative effects of vitamin D on muscle strength and physical performance, this secondary analysis suggests a direct detrimental effect on skeletal muscle of moderately high daily doses of vitamin D supplements.