We all know the benefits of vitamin D for bones, but according to a review of previous studies published in the April 15 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopeadic Surgeons, vitamin D supplements may also help increase muscle strength in athletes, reduce injury, and improve athletic performance. Among the review’s highlights:
- In one study, athletes who received vitamin D supplements increased their upper and lower body strength compared to those receiving a placebo.
- Another study of vitamin D deficient athletes found that those receiving 5,000 IU per day increased their vertical jump height compared to those who didn’t receive the vitamin.
- Among 1,000 Royal Marine recruits in the UK, those with the lowest levels of vitamin D experienced a 60 percent higher incidence of stress fractures than those with the highest levels.
“Vitamin D deficiency commonly affects many people around the world,” said lead study author and orthopedic surgeon Geoffrey D. Abrams, MD, of Stanford University. “With higher serum levels of vitamin D playing a role in muscle strength, injury prevention, and sports performance, it’s essential for individuals to take necessary steps to ensure they’re getting an adequate amount of vitamin D intake.”