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Jun 20, 2017

Vitamin D – Know Your Levels


Vitamin D has been widely discussed in athletics now for some time for its wide ranging benefits. From bone health to possible protection from high blood pressure and cancer, its benefits and having normal blood levels far outweigh the risks.

Posted by: KSherry

Vitamin D – Know Your Levels

Vitamin D has been widely discussed in athletics now for some time for its wide ranging benefits.  From bone health to possible protection from high blood pressure and cancer, its benefits and having normal blood levels far outweigh the risks.

A few years back we tested our entire team for vitamin D levels, and the results were lower than expected, but not uncommon.  The RDA for vitamin D levels is 30-100 ng/ml, which starts many conversations as to where athletes should lie on that scale. Obviously we wanted our athletes to be at least 30 ng/ml at a minimum, but 50 ng/ml was our optimal level.

Our results, a low of 9 ng/ml up to 80 ng/ml (this particular athlete had been supplementing with 5000 Iu daily x1 year).  Our overall average was 27 ng/ml and our average for the starting 11 players from the previous game was 23 ng/ml.  Clearly our athletes were in a deficient state.

Now the purpose of this article is not to discuss the what’s, how’s and why’s of vitamin D levels and supplementation, instead it should raise the awareness levels in athletics, and the general population. Here we had healthy athletes, who spend time outside daily (again I know there are a lot of variables with sun exposure) that had low vitamin D levels.  In the end we supplemented all of our athletes with either 2000 Iu or 5000 Iu daily, for a period of 2 months, and successfully raised their levels 20-30 ng/ml above their baselines.

So get your levels checked, especially your athletes are injury prone or may need a little extra help with injury recovery.

 

Steve Hudyma

Asst. Athletic Trainer

Philadelphia Union

shudyma@philadelphiaunion.com

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