Serum Vitamin D Status in a Division III Football Team
Athletes who train indoors are at a higher risk of vitamin D deficiency than those who engage in outdoor sports. Athletes with less than optimal serum vitamin D have increased risk of injury (1).
Purpose: To determine the vitamin D status of an outdoor sport in late fall.
Methods: Research was approved by the Institutional Review Board and informed consent was received from all subjects. Twenty- two players from a Division III football team aged 18-22 were recruited. Data collection was held in mid- November. Subjects completed 3 day food logs recording the amount of food and beverage intake. Researchers recorded weight, height, waist circumference, blood pressure, and a blood sample for blood lipids (total cholesterol (TC), high density lipoprotein (HDL), low density lipoprotein (LDL), and triglycerides (TG)) and vitamin D were measured. An ELISA 25-Hydroxy Vitamin D assay was used to determine serum vitamin D.
Results: Ninety percent of the football players had inadequate serum vitamin D levels; average serum vitamin D was 56 ± 26 nmol/L (optimal > 75 nmol/L). Vitamin D deficiency (< 50 nmol/L) was present in 10 of 22 subjects (2). The average dietary vitamin D consumption was 12 mg (± 11 mg) which did not meet the RDA recommendation of 15 mg for men age 18 - 50. Only 27% met the RDA (n = 6) for vitamin D and one had optimal serum D; 73% failed to obtain the RDA and again only one had an optimal serum D. Statistical analysis was conducted using the Pearson correlation. Serum vitamin D did not correlate with total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, TG, weight, BMI, fasting blood glucose or blood pressure. However, serum vitamin D negatively correlated with waist circumference (r = -0.438, p = 0.4). Dietary vitamin D did not correlate with serum vitamin D.
Conclusion: Despite being outdoor athletes, 45% were vitamin D deficient by mid-November. Meeting the RDA for vitamin D did not ensure adequate serum vitamin D levels, so to avoid the risk of injury, these athletes should consider beginning a vitamin D supplement in the fall.
•1. Peeling, et. al. (2013) International Journal of Sports Medicine, 34, 248-252.
•2. Galan, et. al. (2012). Clinical Nutrition, 31, 132-136.
Kelly Borgerding was intending to present his research at the Northland Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine but the conference was cancelled due to weather.
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