The Significance of Vitamin D to Overall Health

In this article I would like to talk about the effects of sufficient Vitamin D levels on strength coaching. Vitamin D has lately been recognised as a vitally important nutrient for numerous areas of health and wellbeing including increases in strength. I will examine some of the new research as it pertains to strength training and conditioning along with other positive aspects and also how to attain proper Vitamin D levels in your blood.

Vitamin D is somewhat erroneously regarded as a Vitamin. Recently scientists have accepted that Vitamin D is in fact a pro hormone due to its varying and far reaching effects on the body. Vitamin D is made in the skin where ultra violet B (UVB) light activates cholesterol converting it to Vitamin D in your blood. This professional hormone goes through a couple of conversion mechanisms in the liver and the kidneys before it reaches its active form which has direct effect on body tissues.

People have long recognized that active Vitamin D is responsible for drawing calcium from the gut which is then utilized to develop sturdy bones. Of course as your muscles get stronger through strength training then your bones need to improve their strength proportionately otherwise your new powerful muscles would fracture your weaker bones. However, Vitamin D also has a local effect on the muscles themselves.

Research has shown that sufficient levels of Vitamin D enhance Type II muscle fibres throughout physical exercise. Given that these are the fibres which are most likely to hypertrophy when exposed to resistance and therefore contribute to increased force generation this is a big advantage in your quest to get strong. Possessing greater Type II muscle fibres in your quads is certainly one way to improve your squat performance! Research also suggests that optimal Vitamin D levels are essential for preventing muscle atrophy when you age. Atrophy, or muscle wasting is obviously not going to help you improve strength through your coaching programme.

Vitamin D has also been proven to improve insulin sensitivity which while it might not contribute to increases in strength is crucial to keeping body fat levels low which will keep you lean and mean. This is the main mechanism through which Vitamin D has been proven to positively influence the onset of diabetes.

Numerous research studies over the previous twenty years have associated optimal Vitamin D levels in the blood with reduced risk for not only hip fractures and heart disease but also other significant health complaints like cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. The precise mechanisms of these benefits are still being researched but they are believed to involve the other fat soluble hormones – Vitamin A and Vitamin K2. It is a very exciting time in the scientific research community as much more fascinating Vitamin D research is published.

You can get your Vitamin D -1 measured at your local Doctor’s surgery and you want to ideally shoot for blood levels of 30-100 nanograms per millilitre. This will be greater than a lot of conventional Doctor’s will agree with, nevertheless, research backs up these facts. You can attain this with a daily 5000 international unit (iu) supplement it is extremely difficult to get from food) or ideally you would get it from wise sun exposure 3-4 times a week. This is also difficult to do in the United Kingdom as for most of the year we get nowhere near sufficient sun exposure due to the high latitude of our location. The alternative to supplements is tanning salons but this comes with its own danger from over exposure to UVB rays.

In conclusion, we’ve looked at what Vitamin D is and how you can attain optimal amounts in your blood. We talked about how recent study has proven how optimal amounts of this crucial nutrient, which is actually a effective hormone, keeping you lean and also improving strength levels through its effect on muscle fibres. I really feel that over the next five years there will be significantly more research published about the effective health and fitness of this little appreciated vitamin, along with all the other fat soluble nutritional vitamins also.



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