Osteoporosis International

, Volume 18, Issue 9, pp 1235–1242 | Cite as

Polymorphisms in the vitamin D receptor gene are associated with muscle strength in men and women

  • A. Windelinckx
  • G. De Mars
  • G. Beunen
  • J. Aerssens
  • C. Delecluse
  • J. Lefevre
  • M. A. I. Thomis
Original Article



Vitamin D receptor (VDR) polymorphisms have been associated with fracture risk and muscle strength, although evidence for the latter is limited and conflicting.


BsmI, TaqI and FokI VDR polymorphisms were genotyped in 253 men (54.9 ± 10.2 yr) and 240 women (41.5 ± 13.2 yr). Haplotypes were constructed for BsmI and TaqI. Handgrip, isometric (at 60°, 120° and 180° joint angle) and eccentric torques (60°/s) of knee extension and flexion were analysed using AN(C)OVA. Torque-velocity curves were constructed for concentric torques at 60°/s, 180°/s and 240°/s and analysed using multivariate AN(C)OVA. Age, height and fat-free mass were included as covariates.


Quadriceps isometric and concentric strength were higher in female f/f homozygotes compared to F allele carriers. Adjustment for confounding factors rendered results for quadriceps isometric strength at 120° non-significant. No significant association was found with BsmI-TaqI haplotype in women. In contrast, male Bt/Bt homozygotes had higher isometric quadriceps strength at 150° and higher concentric quadriceps strength than bT allele carriers without and with adjustment for confounding factors. No association was observed with FokI in men. In both genders, no interaction effect was present between BsmI-TaqI haplotype and FokI.


Different VDR gene polymorphisms are associated with quadriceps strength in men and women.


Ageing Association analysis Gender specific effects Muscle strength VDR 



Strength phenotyping of both middle-aged and senior groups was supported by the Flemish Government in the Policy Research Centre Sport, Physical Activity and Health. Genotyping was supported by a Research grant to Martine Thomis of the Fund for Scientific Research Flanders (FWO). Gunther De Mars is funded by grant G.0496.05 of the FWO. An Windelinckx is funded by the Research Fund of the K.U.Leuven (OT/04/44).


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Copyright information

© International Osteoporosis Foundation and National Osteoporosis Foundation 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Windelinckx
    • 1
    • 3
  • G. De Mars
    • 1
  • G. Beunen
    • 1
  • J. Aerssens
    • 2
  • C. Delecluse
    • 1
  • J. Lefevre
    • 1
  • M. A. I. Thomis
    • 1
  1. 1.Research Center for Exercise and Health, Department of Biomedical Kinesiology, Faculty of Kinesiology and Rehabilitation SciencesKatholieke Universiteit LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  2. 2.Department of Translational Medical ResearchTIBOTEC bvbaMechelenBelgium
  3. 3.HeverleeBelgium

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