EDIT: Anyone new to this thread should also check out http://www.tmuscle.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance_nutrition/d_is_for_doping
Below is a collection of articles and posts about Vitamin D:
Here's from the article:
- Vitamin D is probably a lot more important than we have previously thought. To be honest, it very well might be the next fish oil. As a hormone that regulates calcium, phosphorus, bone metabolism, and neuromuscular function, it's clear that this vitamin has broad-reaching effects.
Beyond the classic bone implications, recent research has demonstrated an association between Vitamin D deficiency and an increased risk of heart disease and stroke ? and those who get more sun exposure actually recover from cancer faster than those with limited sun exposure.
There's evidence to suggest a link between Vitamin D deficiency and multiple sclerosis, the flu, diabetes, and various neurological disorders.
The problem is that it's estimated that one-third to one-half of (otherwise healthy) middle-aged and elderly individuals in the US are deficient (defined as below 15 ng/ml, typically).
The amount of Vitamin D produced in the body is markedly higher in warmer climates than you get in the cold white North (or South, if any of you readers happen to be on vacation in Antarctica).
Knowing how it impacts the aforementioned factors, it's not a stretch to say that Vitamin D can have implications for us muscleheads both in terms of performance and health ? and we're talking beyond just weak bones.
Siraj Ahmed was actually my first Boston client when I moved back here in 2006. From his name and the video below, you can tell that Siraj is of Indian descent. Combine his skin tone with his geographic location and the fact that he's stuck in an office more than he'd probably like, and you'll discover quite quickly why he's a candidate for Vitamin D deficiency.
When we first started working together, Siraj was 158 pounds and dealing with elbow, neck, and lower back issues. He couldn't bench press pain-free, and deadlifting was definitely out of the question.
The interesting thing was that none of these issues were "true" pathologies; it was more along the lines of general aches that were a nuisance when he tried to push it in the weight room.
We integrated some appropriate mobility/activation work and also implemented strategic deloads more effectively ? and his symptoms started to resolve. It wasn't until later that he told me his doctor had found that he was Vitamin D deficient on a blood test, and he'd been prescribed 50,000 IU once a week for four weeks.
While he got some benefit from the Vitamin D alone, it wasn't until he integrated it with an appropriate exercise regimen that the pain really dissipated.
Approximately one year later, Siraj is pain-free at a body weight of 178 pounds ? and he pulled 420 a few weeks ago:
I'm not saying that Vitamin D is a cure-all, but it's definitely something to:
A) Make sure you're consuming in adequate amounts.
B) Make sure you're getting via sunlight.
C) Look into if you have generalized pain and weakness, especially in multiple joints.
As an interesting little note, it's believed that aside from eating plenty of fatty fish, it's virtually impossible to get sufficient Vitamin D from your diet without supplementation of some sort. Sounds kind of like fish oil, doesn't it?