Effcacy of Vitamin D Supplementation in Physical Performance of Iranian Elite Athletes

Karamollah Alimoradi, Bahareh Nikooyeh, Ali Asghar Ravasi, Maliheh Zahedirad, Nastaran Shariatzadeh, Ali Kalayi, Tirang Reza Neyestani


Background: There has been no report of the vitamin D status of the professional athletes from Iran to date. This study was performed to evaluate the effcacy of weekly vitamin D supplementation on athletic performance in Iranian athletes expedited to Asian competition in Taipei, China, 2015.

Methods: This study was a randomized controlled clinical trial. Seventy subjects were enrolled in the study. The athletes were randomly divided into two groups: vitamin D supplement (D; received 50,000 IU of vitamin D supplement weekly) and control (P, received a placebo weekly). Duration of the study was 8 weeks.  Anthropometric, dietary, athletic performance, and biochemical evaluations were performed for all subjects in the beginning and in the end of the intervention period.

Results: A signifcant rise in circulating 25(OH)D concentration was observed in D
group (17.3 ± 16.9 ng/mL, P < 0.001), whereas in P group, there was a statistically signifcant decrement (-3.1 ± 8.4 ng/mL, P = 0.040). There were no either within‑ or between‑group signifcant differences in Ergo jump, vertical jump, and agility tests. In strength leg press tests, both groups showed a signifcant improvement. However, comparisons of changes revealed that the improvement in D group was signifcantly higher than in P group (P = 0.034). Moreover, in sprint test (one repetition‑Max, 1RM), only D group had a signifcant within‑group improvement (P = 0.030).

Conclusions: Weekly supplementation with 50,000 IU vitamin D resulted in nearly 17 ng/mL increment in circulating calcidiol. This increase was associated with signifcant improvement of power leg press and sprint tests in D‑supplemented group.

Keywords: Athletes, exercise, Vitamin D

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