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Seasonal variation in vitamin D status, bone health and athletic performance in competitive university student athletes: a longitudinal study

  • Saskia L. Wilson-Barnes (a1), Julie E. A. Hunt (a1), Emma L. Williams (a2), Sarah J. Allison (a1), James J. Wild (a1), Joe Wainwright (a1), Susan A. Lanham-New (a1) and Ralph J. F. Manders (a1)...

Abstract

Vitamin D deficiency has been commonly reported in elite athletes, but the vitamin D status of UK university athletes in different training environments remains unknown. The present study aimed to determine any seasonal changes in vitamin D status among indoor and outdoor athletes, and whether there was any relationship between vitamin D status and indices of physical performance and bone health. A group of forty-seven university athletes (indoor n 22, outdoor n 25) were tested during autumn and spring for serum vitamin D status, bone health and physical performance parameters. Blood samples were analysed for serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (s-25(OH)D) status. Peak isometric knee extensor torque using an isokinetic dynamometer and jump height was assessed using an Optojump. Aerobic capacity was estimated using the Yo-Yo intermittent recovery test. Peripheral quantitative computed tomography scans measured radial bone mineral density. Statistical analyses were performed using appropriate parametric/non-parametric testing depending on the normality of the data. s-25(OH)D significantly fell between autumn (52·8 (sd 22·0) nmol/l) and spring (31·0 (sd 16·5) nmol/l; P < 0·001). In spring, 34 % of participants were considered to be vitamin D deficient (<25 nmol/l) according to the revised 2016 UK guidelines. These data suggest that UK university athletes are at risk of vitamin D deficiency. Thus, further research is warranted to investigate the concomitant effects of low vitamin D status on health and performance outcomes in university athletes residing at northern latitudes.

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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Saskia L. Wilson-Barnes, email s.wilson-barnes@surrey.ac.uk

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Keywords

Seasonal variation in vitamin D status, bone health and athletic performance in competitive university student athletes: a longitudinal study

  • Saskia L. Wilson-Barnes (a1), Julie E. A. Hunt (a1), Emma L. Williams (a2), Sarah J. Allison (a1), James J. Wild (a1), Joe Wainwright (a1), Susan A. Lanham-New (a1) and Ralph J. F. Manders (a1)...

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