Vitamin D Newsletter


Athletic Performance

Jason from Virginia writes:

Dr. Cannell: I noticed that my basketball game is a lot better after I started taking vitamin D. Have you heard anything like that?

Dr. Cannell replies:

I've heard it from many of people; remember that activated vitamin D is a potent steroid hormone. I've never been a good athlete—and I'm still not—but my tennis game is clearly better since I've been maintaining my level at 50 ng/mL. The literature is actually quite convincing that vitamin D improves the athletic abilities of older people who are vitamin D deficient. That is, vitamin D makes them fall less, and improves their choice reaction time, muscle strength, percentage and area of type II (fast) muscle fibers, and balance. However, to date, no one has directly tested the theory by giving physiological amounts of vitamin D (5,000 units a day) to young vitamin D deficient athletes. I predict whomever does that study will be all over the news. Furthermore, idiopathic (which means the doctors are too idiotic to know why) low back pain is rampant among athletes, especially indoor athletes. There is good reason to think that many of them are vitamin D deficient. I'm not going to cite the references to any of this because I'm writing a paper. However, it looks as if levels of about 50 ng/mL will optimize athletic ability.

Page last edited: 21 May 2011