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Many athletes now advised to take daily vitamin D supplements – Aug 2014

Vitamin D and the athlete: Emerging insights

European Journal of Sport Science, DOI:10.1080/17461391.2014.944223, online: 18 Aug 2014
Daniel J. Owensa, William D. Fraserb & Graeme L. Closea*

Interest in Vitamin D has risen considerably recently with many athletes now advised to take daily vitamin D supplements.
The reason for this interest is partly not only attributed to the resurgence of the Vitamin D-deficient disease rickets but also due to the discovery of a Vitamin D receptor in many tissues suggesting a more global role for Vitamin D than previously considered. Unlike the other vitamins that are obtained through the diet, Vitamin D is unique since endogenous synthesis following ultraviolet B (UVB) exposure is the predominant route of entry into systemic circulation. Moreover, Vitamin D could be better classed as a seco-steroid, given that its structure is similar to that of a steroid, and its production is derived from a cholesterol precursor (7-dehydrocholesteol) in the skin. The classification of Vitamin D status is currently subject to considerable debate with many authors opposing governing body recommendations.

Regardless of the suggested optimal concentration, there is now growing evidence to suggest that many athletes are in fact Vitamin D deficient, especially in the winter months largely as a consequence of inadequate sun exposure, combined with poor dietary practices, although the consequences of such deficiencies are still unclear in athletic populations.

  • Impaired muscle function and
  • reduced regenerative capacity,
  • impaired immune function,
  • poor bone health
  • and even impaired cardiovascular function

have all been associated with low Vitamin D in athletes, however, to date, the majority of studies on Vitamin D have described associations and much more research is now needed examining causation.

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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 take vitamin D and/or use UV 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
  13. Reduced Concussions
    See also: Sports and Vitamin D category 273 items