Vitamin D Supplementation Improves Handgrip Strength in Postmenopausal Women: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

Jia Li Zhang, Christina Chui Wa Poon, Man Sau Wong, Wen Xiong Li, Yi Xun Guo, Yan Zhang

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: In postmenopausal women, vitamin D deficiency (as defined by the circulating level of 25(OH)D being below 20 ng/ml (50 nmol/L)) is a regular occurrence. The effect of vitamin D supplementation on the muscle function of postmenopausal women has been controversial. This systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) examines and summarizes the effects of vitamin D supplementation on the muscular strength and mobility of postmenopausal women. Methods: RCTs that met the inclusion criteria for this study were identified by searching PubMed, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library. Postmenopausal women who were included in the study were exposed to RCTs assessing the effectiveness of vitamin D supplements. Meta-analysis data were extracted by two independent reviewers and screened for methodological quality. RCTs that did not meet the minimum requirement for assessment were excluded. In the meta-analysis, the effect size (weighted mean differences, WMD) of handgrip strength (HGS) and timed-up and go test (TUG) with a 95% confidence interval (CI) was obtained to compare reported results across the included RCTs. Results: A total of 19 trials were included in this systematic review, among which 13 trials were eligible for the meta-analysis. In the 13 included studies, supplementing with vitamin D produced a weighted mean difference of 0.876 kg (95% CI = 0.180 to 1.571, P = 0.014, I2 = 68.5%) for HGS, a measurement of muscle strength. However, an insignificant decrease of 0.044 s was observed after analyzing the TUG (95% CI = -0.979 to 0.892, P = 0.927, I2 = 95%). According to subgroup analysis, vitamin D supplementation increased HGS in patients over the age of 60 (P = 0.001), in those without calcium supplementation (P = 0.032), and in those whose baseline vitamin D level was greater than 75 nmol/L (30 ng/ml) (P = 0.003). Conclusions: Taking into account the studies in this systematic review, vitamin D supplementation improved muscle strength in postmenopausal women. However, an insignificant result was demonstrated in terms of mobility after vitamin D supplementation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number863448
JournalFrontiers in Endocrinology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2022


  • handgrip strength
  • mobility
  • muscle strength
  • postmenopausal women
  • vitamin D

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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