Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 May 13;19(10):5938. doi: 10.3390/ijerph19105938.
Calcium and magnesium, together with vitamin D and the hormones testosterone and cortisol, are key elements in muscle function, to maintain physical fitness. This study aims to analyze if supplementation with NO precursors (L-arginine, L-citrulline and beetroot extract) modulates the circulating levels of calcium, magnesium, vitamin D and steroid hormones in elders. Sixty-one volunteers (65.1 years old, 164.6 cm of height and 71.2 kg of weight) susceptible to develop sarcopenia participated in a physical activity program for 6 weeks. Participants were divided into four groups: one placebo and three taking one of the indicated supplements. Physical capacity was assessed through the following tests: (a) distance covered in 6 min by walking (endurance indicator); (b) hand grip (upper-body strength indicator); (c) time to cover 4 m by walking (speed indicator); and (d) time to perform five full squats (lower-body strength indicator). We concluded that there is a disparity in the association of steroid hormones, vitamin D levels and physical fitness. However, a significant inverse correlation between speed and endurance indicators was observed. Higher circulating vitamin D levels were observed in the L-arginine- and beetroot-supplemented groups. In conclusion, vasodilators increase vitamin D circulating levels that, in the long term, could maintain mineral homeostasis, improving muscular function.