A number of studies have been published in the last few years touting the health benefits of vitamin D supplementation. Surprisingly it appears that a large portion of the population has deficient levels of vitamin D – over 50% of children and adolescents, about 75% of Caucasian adults and 90% of African-American and Latino adults. Even elite athletes are at risk. 81% of the New York Giants were found to be vitamin D deficient.
Our diets don’t provide close to the amounts of vitamin D we need. We get most of our vitamin D3 through ultraviolet exposure. If you work or spend most of your time indoors (especially those of you who live somewhere in cold climates), you are likely to have low vitamin D levels.
Many effects on physical performance, injuries and overall health have been studied. These are just a few of the possible reasons to optimize your vitamin D levels.
Increased risk of injury
Lower levels of vitamin D might increase your risk of musculoskeletal injury. A study of players on an NFL team showed that players who suffered a musculoskeletal injury had levels much lower than those players who did not get injured.
Improved athletic performance
Higher vitamin D levels might improve athletic performance. Increased vitamin D levels are associated with increased strength, jump height and power, and exercise capacity.
Vitamin D supplementation might prevent or decrease overtraining syndrome. The inflammatory cytokines, TNF-alpha and IL-6, are increased with vitamin D deficiency after intense exercise. Vitamin D supplementation might decrease inflammation after heavy physical training sessions, theoretically allowing athletes to resume training faster.
8 surprising facts about vitamin D
Other health benefits of vitamin D supplementation
Higher vitamin D levels might have many other health benefits. Patients have lower rates of colds and flu with increased vitamin D levels. Many other aspects of physical and mental health are being investigated, including many cancers, cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, strokes, asthma, and depression.
It is possible that taking a daily dose to get your levels to normal could be a good idea. Again I am not making a specific medical recommendation but just suggesting that you could consider it. I would definitely recommend you talk to your doctor about vitamin D.