Influence of vitamin D supplementation by sunlight or oral D3 on exercise performance

Alexander T. Carswell, Samuel J. Oliver, Laurel M. Wentz, Daniel S. Kashi, Ross Roberts, Jonathan C. Y. Tang, Rachel M. Izard, Sarah Jackson, Donald Allan, Lesley E. Rhodes, William D. Fraser, Julie P. Greeves, Neil P. Walsh (Lead Author)

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28 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Purpose: To determine the relationship between vitamin D status and exercise performance in a large, prospective cohort study of young men and women across seasons (Study-1). Then, in a randomized, placebo-controlled trial, to investigate the effects on exercise performance of achieving vitamin D sufficiency (serum 25(OH)D ≥ 50 nmol·L-1) by a unique comparison of safe, simulated-sunlight and oral vitamin D3 supplementation in wintertime (Study-2). 
Methods: In Study-1, we determined 25(OH)D relationship with exercise performance in 967 military recruits. In Study-2, 137 men received either placebo, simulated-sunlight (1.3x standard erythemal dose in T-shirt and shorts, three-times-per-week for 4-weeks and then once-per-week for 8-weeks) or oral vitamin D3 (1,000 IU[BULLET OPERATOR]day-1 for 4-weeks and then 400 IU[BULLET OPERATOR]day-1 for 8-weeks). We measured serum 25(OH)D by LC-MS/MS and endurance, strength and power by 1.5-mile run, maximum-dynamic-lift and vertical jump, respectively. 
Results: In Study-1, only 9% of men and 36% of women were vitamin D sufficient during wintertime. After controlling for body composition, smoking and season, 25(OH)D was positively associated with endurance performance (P ≤ 0.01, [INCREMENT]R2 = 0.03–0.06, small f2 effect sizes): 1.5-mile run time was ~half-a-second faster for every 1 nmol·L-1 increase in 25(OH)D. No significant effects on strength or power emerged (P > 0.05). In Study-2, safe simulated-sunlight and oral vitamin D3 supplementation were similarly effective in achieving vitamin D sufficiency in almost all (97%); however, this did not improve exercise performance (P > 0.05). 
Conclusion: Vitamin D status was associated with endurance performance but not strength or power in a prospective cohort study. Achieving vitamin D sufficiency via safe, simulated summer sunlight or oral vitamin D3 supplementation did not improve exercise performance in a randomized-controlled trial. 
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2555–2564
Number of pages10
JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Volume50
Issue number12
Early online date30 Jul 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018

Keywords

  • cholecalciferol
  • 25-hydroxyvitamin D
  • UVB
  • endurance
  • strength
  • power

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