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
D per day or a placebo over a period of two weeks.
Adults supplementing with vitamin D had lower
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
supplement also showed lower signs of physical exertion. According to Dr
Raquel Revuelta Iniesta, co-author of the study "taking vitamin D supplements
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
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, 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
Vitamin D is involved in so many physiological functions and maintains our
health in many different ways.
It helps us absorbption of calcium – which, affects bone development
Enhanced Nerve Signaling
Regulating Blood Pressure
Mass, especially as we get older.
Vitamin D may also play a role in decreasing our risk for certain types
of cancer, as well as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple
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