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Athletes (national-level) with less than 10 ng of vitamin D had smaller hearts – Jan 2014

Severely vitamin D-deficient athletes present smaller hearts than sufficient athletes

European Journal of Preventive Cardiology January 7, 2014 2047487313518473
Richard J Allison 1,2
Graeme L Close 2
Abdulaziz Farooq 3
Nathan R Riding 2,3
Othman Salah 4
Bruce Hamilton 5
Mathew G Wilson 4
1 National Sports Medicine Program, ASPETAR, Qatar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Qatar
2 Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Science, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, Merseyside, UK
3 Athlete Health and Performance Research Centre, ASPETAR, Qatar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital Qatar
4 Department of Sports Medicine, ASPETAR, Qatar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Qatar
5 High Performance Sport New Zealand, Auckland, New Zealand
Richard Allison, ASPETAR – Qatar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, PO Box 29222, Doha, Qatar. Email: richard.allison at aspetar.com

Background Vitamin D (25(OH)D) deficiency has associations with bowl/colon cancer, arthritis, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Many athletes are vitamin D deficient, yet no studies have examined the association between 25(OH)D status and cardiac structure and function in healthy athletes.

Design A total of 506 national-level athletes [football (50%), handball (23%), volleyball (16%), and basketball (11%)] and 244 control participants presented for precompetition medical assessment. Controls were healthy individuals registered with a sporting federation undertaking <2 h of exercise per week.

Methods All individuals undertook a physical examination, 12-lead electrocardiogram, echocardiogram, and serum 25(OH)D evaluation.

Results From 506 athletes and 244 controls,

  • 23 and 12.3% demonstrated 25(OH)D sufficiency (>30 ng/ml),
  • 30 and 23.4% insufficiency (20–30 ng/ml),
  • 37.2 and 48.8% deficiency (10–20 ng/ml), and
  • 11 and 15.6% severe deficiency (<10 ng/ml).

Severely 25(OH)D-deficient athletes present significantly (p < 0.05) smaller

  • aortic root and left atria diameters,
  • intraventricular septum diameter (IVSd),
  • left ventricular diameter during diastole (LVIDd),
  • left ventricular mass (LVM),
  • left ventricular volume during diastole (LVvolD), and
  • right atrial (RA) area than insufficient and sufficient athletes.

Furthermore, following logarithmic transformation adjusting 25(OH)D for age, body surface area, ethnicity, and athletic participation, positive associations were observed between 25(OH)D and IVSd, LVIDd, posterior wall thickness during diastole, LVM, and LVvolD in athletes but not in the control participants.

Conclusions Severely 25(OH)D-deficient athletes present significantly smaller cardiac structural parameters than insufficient and sufficient athletes. Future research should investigate the precise mechanism(s) causing cardiac hypertrophy with increases in serum 25(OH)D in healthy athletes.

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Comment by VitaminDWiki

Most likely the athletes with < 10 ng of vitamin D were indoor athletes, as outdoor athletes typically have > 30 ng of vitamin D
This is the first article I can recall which implies that the heart does not grow as much when there is little vitamin D.

See also VitaminDWiki

Athletes are helped by vitamin D by:

  1. Faster reaction time
  2. Far fewer colds/flus during the winter
  3. Less sore/tired after a workout
  4. Fewer micro-cracks and broken bones
  5. Bones which do break heal much more quickly
  6. Increased VO2 and exercise endurance Feb 2011
  7. Indoor athletes especially need vitamin D
  8. Professional indoor athletes are starting to supplement with vitamin D or use vitamin D beds
  9. Olympic athletes have used UV/vitamin D since the 1930's
  10. The biggest gain from the use of vitamin D is by those who exercise less than 2 hours per day.
  11. Reduced muscle fatigue with 10,000 IU vitamin D daily
  12. Muscle strength improved when vitamin D added: 3 Meta-analysis
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