RECOMMENDATION: During the winter months, all adults should take a supplement of 600IU of vitamin D per day. This is in accordance with the US guidelines
Even individuals that take care of their bodies and are very active are at risk of vitamin D deficiencies. A presentation by Dr Brian Walker, the Head of Sports Medicine at the Sports Scotland Institute of Sport, revealed that over 66% of Scottish Athletes are deficient in vitamin D. In fact 10% of these Athletes were found to have extremely low levels of vitamin D.
This report came out in the lead up to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow 2014. Dr Walker committed himself to the promise that “every Scottish athlete going into Glasgow will be have normal vitamin D levels”.
These statistics demonstrate that even the healthiest and fittest individuals are at risk of Vitamin D deficiencies. This is particularly worrying given that Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to a number of health conditions such as heart disease and prostate cancer. For competitive and recreational athletes Vitamin D deficiency increases the chance of fractures. In fact, a study has shown that increased vitamin D levels can decrease the prevalence of stress fractures by up to 100%.