Doctoral defence: Vitamin D, COPD and resistance training among older people

Resistance training is effective in counteracting age-related loss of muscle strength and mass. However, not every old adult seem to experience the same magnitude of such improvements.



September 3


Aud. Innsikt, NIH




In this PhD project, we – Knut Sindre Mølmen says – have investigated whether supplementation of vitamin D would lead to enhanced resistance training-associated adaptations (i.e. increased health and muscle function, as well as larger muscle biological changes) compared to resistance training without supplementation of vitamin D. In addition, we investigated whether people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) would experience impaired responsiveness to resistance training compared to lung-healthy persons, and whether resistance training with high- and low training load would result in different adaptations.

Vitamin D supplementation did not lead to enhanced resistance training-associated adaptations, and the participants with COPD showed no signs of impaired responsiveness to training compared to the healthy participants in the project. This refutes both the hypothesis that vitamin D supplementation are necessary to achieve optimal resistance training-associated adaptations for older adults, and the hypothesis that people with COPD possesses reduced responsiveness to resistance training. Resistance training with high and low load provided slightly different adaptations. This finding suggest that for older people it may be beneficial to combine these two forms of exercise.

This PhD project has provided useful insights on how the muscles of older people with and without COPD adapt to resistance training. The knowledge will help to form the basis for future training recommendations.




  • Stian Ellefsen – professor, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences (main supervisor)
  • Truls Raastad – professor, Institute for Physical Performance, NIH

Photo: Ole Martin Ringlund, Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences

General information

The defence is open to the public but with a limited number of seats available.

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Beate Marie Kristensen

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Klavs Madsen

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