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Suggests that college athletes supplement with vitamin D in winter - June 2010

Vitamin D Status Relative to Diet, Lifestyle, Injury and Illness in College Athletes.

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2010 Jun 11. Epub ahead of print
Halliday T, Peterson N, Thomas J, Kleppinger K, Hollis B, Larson-Meyer D.
Departments of 1Family and Consumer Sciences and 2Athletics, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY; 3Laramie Pediatrics, Laramie, WY and 4Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC.

Vitamin D deficiency is endemic in the general population; however, there is much to be learned about the vitamin D status of athletes.

PURPOSE:: To assess the prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency in collegiate athletes and determine whether 25(OH)D concentrations are related to vitamin D intake, sun exposure, body composition, and risk for illness or athletic injury.

METHODS:: 25(OH) vitamin D concentrations were measured in 41 (18 male/23 female) athletes (12 indoor/29 outdoor) throughout the academic year. Dietary intake and lifestyle habits were assessed via questionnaire, bone density was measured by DEXA and injury and illness were documented as part of routine care.

RESULTS:: 25(OH)D concentrations changed across time (P=0.001) and averaged 49.0+/-16.6, 30.5+/-9.4 and 41.9+/-14.6 ng/mL in the fall, winter and spring, respectively, and were higher in outdoor versus indoor athletes in the fall (P <0.05). Using 40 ng/mL as the cutoff for optimal status, 75.6 %, 15.2% and 36.0% of athletes had optimal status in the fall, winter and spring, respectively. 25(OH)D concentrations were significantly (P <0.05) correlated with multivitamin intake in the winter (r=0.39) and tanning bed use in the spring (r=0.48), however, status was otherwise not related to intake, lifestyle factors or body composition. 25(OH)D concentrations in the spring (r=-0.40; P=0.048) was correlated with frequency of illness.

CONCLUSION:: Our results suggest that collegiate athletes can maintain sufficient status during the fall and spring but would benefit from supplementation during the winter to prevent seasonal decreases in 25(OH)D concentrations. Results further suggest that insufficient vitamin D status may increase risk for frequent illness. Future research is needed to identify whether vitamin D status influences injury risk during athletic training/competition. PMID: 20543748
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See also VitaminDWiki

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