12-Week Vitamin D Supplementation Trial Does Not Significantly Influence Seasonal 25(OH)D Status in Male Collegiate Athletes

Storlie, Dana M.; Pritchett, Kelly; Pritchett, Robert; Cashman, Linda
December 2011
International Journal of Health & Nutrition;2011, Vol. 2 Issue 2, p8
Academic Journal
Vitamin D insufficiency is widespread in the general population and supplementation is often necessary. Recent research has examined prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency in various athletic groups. The purpose of this study was to examine male, outdoor athletes for vitamin D insufficiency and to test the efficacy of a 12-week, seasonal supplementation trial using an oral vitamin D spray. It was hypothesized that participants would have lower rates of vitamin D insufficiency compared to existing data from the general population and that vitamin D supplementation would be beneficial in maintaining optimal 25(OH)D status from fall to winter. Outdoor, male athletes (n = 27) were randomly assigned to the control ("CON", daily placebo spray) or treatment ("VITD", 1000 IU vitamin D/day) group for a 12-week supplementation trial. Participants were examined in the fall and winter on 25(OH)D concentrations, body composition, as well as dietary and lifestyle factors. Initially, 25% of participants displayed vitamin D insufficiency. Following the 12-week supplementation trial, no significant difference was observed between the VITD and CON groups. Overall, 25(OH)D levels significantly declined (p < 0.001) from fall to winter, regardless of treatment group. Results suggest that supplementation with 1000 IU/day of vitamin D may not be adequate to prevent the seasonal decline of 25(OH)D in male athletes. In support of the hypothesis, vitamin D insufficiency appears to be lower among male, outdoor athletes compared to the general population; however, the common supplementation recommendation of 1000 IU/day was not adequate to prevent seasonal decline from fall to winter. Consequently, research continues to be warranted regarding vitamin D intake recommendations and supplementation in athletes.


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