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New study looks at vitamin D levels of NCAA athletes

Posted on: March 12, 2014   by  Vitamin D Council


New research published in the journal Sports Health: A Multidisciplinary Approach has found that about a third of NCAA athletes in southern California have vitamin D insufficiency or deficiency.

Athletes need vitamin D to help promote strong muscles and bones and to help reduce the risk of falls and fractures during intense physical exercise. We’ve covered many studies on vitamin D and athletes in the past.

Researchers recently analyzed the vitamin D levels of Division 1 NCAA athletes at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

They measured the vitamin D levels of 223 athletes in the summer of 2012. Vitamin D sufficiency was defined as a level at or above 32 ng/ml, insufficiency was defined as a level between 20 and 31 ng/ml, and deficiency was defined as a vitamin D level less than 20 ng/ml.

Overall, the average vitamin D level among the athletes was 40.1 ng/ml. One hundred and forty-eight, or 66.4%, of the athletes had sufficient vitamin D levels and 75, or 33.6%, had insufficient or deficient levels.

“In a large cohort of NCAA athletes, more than one third had abnormal vitamin D levels,” the researchers concluded.


Villacis, D. et al. Prevalence of Abnormal Vitamin D Levels Among Division I NCAA Athletes. Sports Health: A Multidisciplinary Approach, 2014.

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