Many Athletes are Vitamin D Deficient

    Vitamin D is important for normal calcium metabolism and plays a vital role in maintaining bone and muscle health. Many athletes are vitamin D deficient because they shun vitamin D-fortified dairy products and don’t get much outdoor activity. Vitamin D is produced naturally in the skin as part of a reaction involving sunlight, but it is also consumed in the diet. A review of literature by Enette Larson-Meyer and Kentz Willis concluded that adequate vitamin D levels are important for promoting muscle and strength, and that it plays a critical role in muscle protein synthesis. Vitamin D deficient athletes should strive to achieve blood levels of vitamin D greater than 40 nanograms per milliliter of blood. (Current Sports Medicine Reports, 9: 220-226, 2010)