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Vitamin D and the Athlete: Current Perspectives and New Challenges

Owens, DJ, Allison, R and Close, GL (2018) Vitamin D and the Athlete: Current Perspectives and New Challenges. Sports Medicine, 48 (Sup 1). pp. 3-16. ISSN 0112-1642

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The last decade has seen a dramatic increase in general interest in and research into vitamin D, with many athletes now taking vitamin D supplements as part of their everyday dietary regimen. The most recognized role of vitamin D is its regulation of calcium homeostasis; there is a strong relationship between vitamin D and bone health in non-athletic individuals. In contrast, data have consistently failed to demonstrate any relationship between serum 25[OH]D and bone health, which may in part be due to the osteogenic stimulus of exercise. Vitamin D may interact with extra-skeletal tissues such as muscle and the immune system to modulate recovery from damaging exercise and infection risk. Given that many athletes now engage in supplementation, often consuming extreme doses of vitamin D, it is important to assess whether excessive vitamin D can be detrimental to health. It has been argued that toxic effects only occur when serum 25[OH] D concentrations are greater than 180 nmol·l −1 , but data from our laboratory have suggested high-dose supplementation could be problematic. Finally, there is a paradoxical relationship between serum 25[OH]D concentration, ethnicity, and markers of bone health: Black athletes often present with low serum 25[OH] D without physiological consequences. One explanation for this could be genetic differences in vitamin D binding protein due to ethnicity, resulting in greater concentrations of bioavailable (or free) vitamin D in some ethnic groups. In the absence of any pathology, screening may be unnecessary and could result in incorrect supplementation. Data must now be re-examined, taking into consideration bioavailable or “free” vitamin D in ethnically diverse groups to enable new thresholds and target concentrations to be established; perhaps, for now, it is time to “set vitamin D free”. © 2018 The Author(s)

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1106 Human Movement And Sports Science, 0913 Mechanical Engineering, 1302 Curriculum And Pedagogy
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1200 Sports Medicine
Divisions: Sport & Exercise Sciences
Publisher: Springer Verlag
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2018 09:21
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 03:16
DOI or ID number: 10.1007/s40279-017-0841-9
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/7986
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