Vitamin D Supplement can Improve Exercise Performance

Vitamin D Supplement can Improve Exercise Performance


Taking vitamin D supplements can improve exercise performance and lower the risk of heart disease, according to the findings of a preliminary study presented on November 2, 2015 at the Society for Endocrinology annual conference in Edinburgh.

Athletic performance has been reported to vary seasonally, peaking in the summer; positive effects of UVB exposure on athletic performance were reported as early as the 1930s. In a recent study, reported by Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh gave 13 healthy adults matched by age and weight 50μg of vitamin D per day or a placebo over a period of two weeks.


Adults supplementing with vitamin D had lower blood pressure compared to those given a placebo, as well as having lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol in their urine. A fitness test found that the group taking vitamin D could cycle 6.5km in 20 minutes, compared to just 5km at the start of the experiment. Despite cycling 30% further in the same time, the group taking vitamin D supplement also showed lower signs of physical exertion. According to  Dr Raquel Revuelta Iniesta, co-author of the study "taking vitamin D supplements can improve fitness levels and lower cardiovascular risk factors such as blood pressure." However he suggested that  the next step should be to perform a larger clinical trial for a longer period of time in both healthy individuals and large groups of athletes such as cyclists or long-distance runners.

Around ten million people in England may have low vitamin D levels. On average, one in ten adults has low levels of vitamin D in summer, compared to two in five in winter. Because people with darker skin are less efficient at using sunlight to make vitamin D, up to three out of four adults with dark skin are deficient in winter.

 Previous studies suggest that vitamin D can block the action of enzyme 11-βHSD1, which is needed to make the "stress hormone" cortisol. High levels of cortisol may raise blood pressure by restricting arteries, narrowing blood vessels and stimulating the kidneys to retain water. As Vitamin D may reduce circulating levels of cortisol, it could theoretically improve exercise performance and lower cardiovascular risk factors.


Why is Vitamin D Crucial? 

Vitamin D Supplement can Improve Exercise Performance

Vitamin D, is both a vitamin and a hormone. It helps control levels of calcium and phosphate in the blood and is essential for the formation of bones and teeth.

Vitamin D is involved in so many physiological functions and maintains our health in many different ways.

  1. It helps us absorbption of calcium � which,  affects bone development and growth

  2. Enhanced Nerve Signaling

  3. Better Immune Function

  4. Regulating Blood Pressure

  5. Maintaining Muscle Strength and Mass, especially as we get older.

  6. Vitamin D may also play a role in decreasing our risk for certain types of cancer, as well as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis.

  7. It can even help us lose or maintain weight.


Sources of Vitamin D include oily fish and eggs, but it can be difficult to get enough through diet alone. Most people generate vitamin D by exposing their skin to ultraviolet B rays in sunlight.

 Currently, clinical vitamin D levels are defined as follows:

  • deficient (<20 ng/mL)
  • insufficient (20 to 32 ng/mL)
  • sufficient (>32 ng/mL).

 Note: Before taking a supplement do undergo a test to confirm if you really need a supplement.



Dated 05 November 2015



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