Vitamin D Improves Physical and Athletic Performance by
Improving Muscle Function
Thousands of medical and research studies show that vitamin D3
supplementation improves bone density and muscle strength in older adults. Now we are finding vitamin D3
improves muscle strength for athletes and adolescents participating in sports.
German researchers discovered in the 1950’s
that vitamin D3 producing ultraviolet light improved athletic performance. Consistent medical literature
indicates physical and athletic performance is seasonal; it peaks when vitamin D3 levels peak (summer and
autumn) and declines as vitamin D3 declines (winter and spring).
athletic performance appears to occur when vitamin D3 blood levels approach those obtained by natural,
full-body, summer sun exposure, which is at least 50 ng/ml.
Vitamin D3 also increases the size and number
of Type II (fast twitch) muscle fibers. Most randomized controlled medical studies show that vitamin D3 improves
physical performance. A blood test for 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 is necessary to determine the need and to adjust the
dose of sunshine exposure and supplemental oral vitamin D3.
Sorry, guys, researchers have studied the
gals more often…
Vitamin D3 supplementation improved jump velocity, jump height, muscle power and
muscle force in adolescent girls.
Another study showed adolescent girls with adequate vitamin D3 status had
significantly higher muscle strength compared with those with poor vitamin D3 status.
This doesn’t mean vitamin D3 will not help
you guys. Your group has yet to be studied.
Vitamin D3 may improve energy inside the
muscle cell by assisting by improving calcium and magnesium levels inside the muscle.
 A severe vitamin D3 deficiency may be associated with muscle pain and
 Vitamin D3 status can affect an athlete's overall health and ability to train
by affecting bone health, immunity, and exercise-related immunity and inflammation.
 One study found that low levels of vitamin D3 are associated with weak muscle
 Patients with vitamin D3 insufficiency often exhibit muscle weakness and/or
atrophy which can be cured by vitamin D3 and calcium supplementation.
Dark skinned races typically have lower
serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 levels compared to light skinned groups. Dark skinned individuals usually require
longer periods of sun exposure and higher doses of Vitamin D3.
According to researchers current vitamin
D3 recommendations are insufficient for all races.
 Ninety-five percent of my clients in
Oklahoma have a 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 below the optimal 50 ng/ml blood level. Fifty
percent of my clients are below the minimum blood level of 32 ng/ml. I have found that a vitamin D3 deficiency is
the norm rather than the exception in Oklahoma
Small amounts of vitamin D3
are found in egg yolks and butter. However, the majority of vitamin D3 in the body is created during a chemical
reaction that starts with sunlight exposure to the skin. Cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) is the dietary supplement
and animal form of this vitamin. Cholecalciferol is absorbed best with food. Vitamin D2 in fortified foods and
dairy products are not as potent as vitamin D3.
Vitamin D may improve muscle function
only if you are low in vitamin D3.
Please contact your doctor
or my office to obtain a
25-hydroxyvitamin D3 blood test.
About the Author:
Keith D. Bishop, Clinical Nutritionist, B.Sc. Pharmacy helps clients improve their health using natural
products, tests and self care. Call 405.936.3333 to schedule your Natural Care appointment.
Click here to subscribe to the weekly eNatural Care Solution email
Return from Vitamin D Muscles to 2009 Natural Care
Performance and Vitamin D. , Cannell JJ, Hollis BW, Sorenson MB, Taft TN, Anderson JJ.,
Med Sci Sports
2009 Apr 3.
 Vitamin D
status and muscle function in post-menarchal adolescent girls. Ward KA, Das G, Berry JL, Roberts SA, Rawer
R, Adams JE, Mughal Z. J Clin Endocrinol Metab
 Low vitamin D status has an adverse
influence on bone mass, bone turnover, and muscle strength in Chinese adolescent girls.
 . Vitamin
supplementation and athletic performance. Williams MH. Int J Vitam Nutr Res
 [Myalgia and
proximal muscle weakness in a young patient.] Mühlebach S, Bischoff-Ferrari HA. Praxis
(Bern1994) . 2009 Apr
 Vitamin D and
its implications for musculoskeletal health in women: an update. Pérez-López FR.
. 2007 Oct 20;58(2):117-37.
 Should we be
concerned about the vitamin D status of athletes? Willis KS, Peterson NJ , Larson-Meyer DE . Int J Sport Nutr Exerc
Metab . 2008
 Vitamin D and
muscle strength in patients with previous fractures. Inderjeeth CA, Glenn on
D, Petta A, Soderstrom J, Boyatzis I, Tapper J. N Z Med J
. 2007 Sep
 [Effect of
calcium and vitamin D on skeletal muscle] Endo I, Inoue D. Clin
Calcium . 2003
 . African
Americans, 25-hydroxyvitamin D, and osteoporosis: a paradox. Aloia JF. Am J Clin
Nutr . 2008
differences and trends of vitamin D insufficiency in the US population, 1988-2004. Ginde AA, Liu MC, Camargo CA Jr.
Arch Intern Med
. 2009 Mar