Vitamin D may prevent injury

Low levels of vitamin D cause muscles to atrophy and impair the ability to contract properly.  

In this study during the 2015 National Football League season, doctors studied 214 skilled position athletes, 78 percent of whom were African American. Vitamin D levels in the African American players averaged 29.5 nanograms per milliliter of blood (ng/mL) compared to white players at 34.0 ng/mL. For reference, less than 40 ng/mL is considered deficient. 

During the season, 11 of the 13 players that missed a game due to injury had low vitamin D levels. Players with vitamin D levels below 32 ng/mL were 86 percent more likely than players with at least 32 ng/mL to have a lower extremity strain or core muscle injury, and were also three times as likely to pull a hamstring muscle.

Doctors said regularly screening levels and supplementing with vitamin D could help prevent injury not only in professional athletes, but in the general population, 40 percent of which may be deficient in vitamin D. 

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