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New review on vitamin D and athletic performance

Posted on: July 20, 2013   by  John Cannell, MD


In 2009, teaming up with Professor John Anderson and Professor Timothy Taft (the team physician for the North Carolina Tar Heels), I wrote the first paper on vitamin D and athletic performance in 50 years.

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3 Responses to New review on vitamin D and athletic performance

  1. Rita and Misty

    I know from personal experience, that significant life changes often appear at first glance to be quick and to occur on the turn of a dime.

    For example:

    • Fifty years ago, my mom and dad were planning to retire to Miami Beach when the rabbit died and the stork announced the birth of their first (and only) unexpected and very late life bundle of joy (me).

    • Ten years ago, my son Michael, insisted to me and his dad that he fully intended to finish a costly graduate degree program in music (he dropped out 18 months later to pursue another costly graduate degree in engineering).

    • Seven years ago, I was happily employed by the City of New Haven, doing budget work for one of its larger departments, and naively thinking I would sit at that desk until the year 2030 (then the economy tanked, municipalities all over the US down-sized, and I was put out to pasture).

    But none of these changes were really, truly that sudden and/or without basis. It just looks that way upon first glance.

    We know that change occurs in very small, sometimes barely noticeable increments. Yet, when the change is complete, many times the final endeavor has taken on a much different shape and form from its original concept (just ask my mom…she still tries to fit me in those baby clothes..but they won’t stretch enough anymore).

    I am jovially attempting to say that, while it certainly may feel that very little progress has been made on our vitamin d journey, this would be incorrect.

    In my opinion, tremendous strides have been made since “… the academic vitamin D powers that existed in the 1980s and 1990s would not let [Walter Stump] publish his results in mainstream journals, nor let him give talks at mainstream meetings.” (JJ Cannell, October 6, 2012, members blog)

    We have traveled such a long way since Dr. Stumpf’s experiences. One need only peruse fellow VDC member, Henry Lahore’s Vitamin D Wiki, to see the myriad of studies now performed on D.


    I think it’s natural for us in the vitamin d community to feel a bit tired (ok, exhausted)on this journey toward bringing vitamin d into the medical mainstream. Some of us have been carrying this burden much longer than others. And, it may often feel like no one is listening to us…(or perhaps it may even feel worse). That’s precisely the time we need to step back and review just how far we’ve come since the experiences of Walter Stumpf, to take pride in the very real fact that we each in some way have made such a positive impact upon our world, and to garner strength to endure the work that still needs to transpire so that vitamin D may gain its necessary place in mainstream medicine.

    Our collective health depends upon this effort.

    Fifty years is a very short time, ten years is even less. You have been instrumental in creating real progress in less than a lifetime, Dr. Cannell.

    In other words, I do think that vitamin d will be accepted, one day, by mainstream medicine. And when that day does occur, it will seem to many people that the change was quick and happened on a dime’s turn. But we here will know, and fully appreciate, the real, significant and long-term efforts that went into this successful endeavor. And I’m certain that the final impact will be much different, and greater, than any of us expect at the very present moment.

    Life is simply weird that way.

    Olympic Champions – Moscow 1980 Team – Soviet Union


  2. IAW

    To: Rita
    Thanks for the reminder of how far we have come even though there is a “ways to go”!!!

  3. Rita and Misty

    Dear IAW~~they say it is darkest before the light of day…

    I do what I can to bring people to the Vitamin D Council. Those that make the cyberspace trip always tell me that it is great to finally find a trustworthy site on health and nutrition, and means a great deal to them to read the words of a physician who remembers he took the Hippocratic Oath. This is very important to people…it is reassuring in a day and age when much on the internet is not…

    We are lucky to have the Vitamin D Council. Everyone here knows I feel that a united approach is always best. I highly recommend we give this all our best and chat up the Vitamin D Council wherever and whenever we can…

    Be well,

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