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Noel Pollock Interview: Vitamin D supplementation for athletes

In this brief interview, UKA Athletic Conditioning Lead, John Kiely talks to Dr Noel Pollock, Sports Physician and UKA London Medical Officer about the use of Vitamin D supplementation for athletes.

  • Uploaded: 12.01.2010
  • Duration: 00:29:49
  • Views: 2029
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The Research Studies

Athletic Performance and Vitamin D

CANNELL, JOHN J.; HOLLIS, BRUCE W.; SORENSON, MARC B.; TAFT, TIMOTHY N.; ANDERSON, JOHN J. B.

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: May 2009 - Volume 41 - Issue 5 - pp 1102-1110

Abstract

Purpose: Activated vitamin D (calcitriol) is a pluripotent pleiotropic secosteroid hormone. As a steroid hormone, which regulates more than 1000 vitamin D-responsive human genes, calcitriol may influence athletic performance. Recent research indicates that intracellular calcitriol levels in numerous human tissues, including nerve and muscle tissue, are increased when inputs of its substrate, the prehormone vitamin D, are increased.

Methods: We reviewed the world's literature for evidence that vitamin D affects physical and athletic performance.

Results: Numerous studies, particularly in the German literature in the 1950s, show vitamin D-producing ultraviolet light improves athletic performance. Furthermore, a consistent literature indicates physical and athletic performance is seasonal; it peaks when 25-hydroxy-vitamin D [25(OH)D] levels peak, declines as they decline, and reaches its nadir when 25(OH)D levels are at their lowest. Vitamin D also increases the size and number of Type II (fast twitch) muscle fibers. Most cross-sectional studies show that 25(OH)D levels are directly associated with musculoskeletal performance in older individuals. Most randomized controlled trials, again mostly in older individuals, show that vitamin D improves physical performance.

Conclusions: Vitamin D may improve athletic performance in vitamin D-deficient athletes. Peak athletic performance may occur when 25(OH)D levels approach those obtained by natural, full-body, summer sun exposure, which is at least 50 ng·mL-1. Such 25(OH)D levels may also protect the athlete from several acute and chronic medical conditions.

Should we be concerned about the vitamin D status of athletes?

Willis, K. S., Peterson, N. J., & Larson-Meyer, D. E. (2008). International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 18, 204-224.

Abstract

A surprisingly high prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency has recently been reported worldwide. Although very little is known about vitamin D status among athletes, a few studies suggest that poor vitamin D status is also a problem in athletic populations. It is well recognized that vitamin D is necessary for optimal bone health, but emerging evidence is finding that vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of autoimmune diseases and nonskeletal chronic diseases and can also have a profound effect on human immunity, inflammation, and muscle function (in the elderly). Thus, it is likely that compromised vitamin D status can affect an athlete's overall health and ability to train (i.e., by affecting bone health, innate immunity, and exercise-related immunity and inflammation). Although further research in this area is needed, it is important that sports nutritionists assess vitamin D (as well as calcium) intake and make appropriate recommenda tions that will help athletes achieve adequate vitamin D status: serum 25(OH)D of at least 75 or 80 nmol/L. These recommendations can include regular safe sun exposure (twice a week between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on the arms and legs for 5–30 min, depending on season, latitude, and skin pigmentation) or dietary supplementation with 1,000–2,000 IU vitamin D3 per day. Although this is significantly higher than what is currently considered the adequate intake, recent research demonstrates these levels to be safe and possibly necessary to maintain adequate 25(OH)D concentrations.

Some additional reading

Vitamin D Tied To Muscle Power In Adolescent Girls

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090203080730.htm

Vitamin D Deficiency Related To Increased Inflammation In Healthy Women

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090408140208.htm

Vitamin D Is The 'It' Nutrient Of The Moment

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090112121821.htm

Increasing Number Of Americans Have Insufficient Levels Of Vitamin D

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090323161111.htm

Not Enough Vitamin D In The Diet Could Mean Too Much Fat On Adolescents

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090312140905.htm

 

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