Vitamin D Series PART 1 – Vitamin D and Athletes

vitamin d 3d illustration on white glossy surface

Vitamin D is well known for its role in calcium regulation and bone health, but emerging literature tells of vitamin D’s central role in other vital body processes, such as: signaling gene response, protein synthesis, hormone synthesis, immune response, plus, cell turnover and regeneration. In addition, a common symptom of clinical vitamin D deficiency is muscle weakness.Recent reports have shown a direct relationship between vitamin D blood levels and

  • muscle power
  • muscle force
  • muscle velocity
  • bone mass.

In addition, low levels of vitamin D can result in

  • over active parathyroid function
  • bone loss
  • increased risk of low trauma fractures
  • muscle injuries.

A new study, recently published in the Journal Sports Health, is entitled “Prevalence of Abnormal Vitamin D Levels Among Division One NCAA Athletes”.

This study begins by stating:

“Up to 1 billion people have insufficient or deficient vitamin D levels. Despite the well-documented, widespread prevalence of low vitamin D levels and the importance of vitamin D for athletes, there is a paucity of research investigating the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in athletes.”

The researchers evaluated the blood levels of vitamin D in a large group of NCAA Division I athletes. The results showed that about one-third of the athletes had very low levels of vitamin D. The highest risk factors for having low levels of vitamin D were being of hispanic descent, or having dark skin tone.

Look for the PART 2 on recommendations for Vitamin D supplementation

REFERENCE – Sports Health. 2014 Jul;6(4):340-7. doi: 10.1177/1941738114524517. Prevalence of Abnormal Vitamin D Levels Among Division I NCAA Athletes. Villacis D , Yi A , Jahn R , Kephart CJ , Charlton T , Gamradt SC , Romano R , Tibone JE , Hatch GF 3rd .