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Vitamin D Supplementation Associated with Improved Exercise Performance

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Reprinted with the kind permission of Life Extension.

November 2 2015. The Society for Endocrinology’s annual conference held in Edinburgh was the site of a presentation on November 1, 2015 of the outcome of a study that found lower blood pressure and improved exercise performance in healthy adults given a daily vitamin D supplement.

Thirteen healthy adults were given 50 micrograms (2,000 international units) vitamin D or a placebo for two weeks. Fitness tests administered at the beginning and end of the study found that those who received vitamin D were able to cycle 6.5 kilometers in 20 minutes after two weeks of treatment in comparison with 5 kilometers at the beginning of the study, while exhibiting fewer signs of physical exertion. The vitamin D group also had lower blood pressure and decreased urinary levels of cortisol, a hormone that is elevated during stress, compared to the placebo group. Research suggests that vitamin D lowers cortisol by blocking an enzyme needed for the hormone’s production.

“Vitamin D deficiency is a silent syndrome linked to insulin resistance, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and a higher risk for certain cancers”, observed lead researcher Dr Emad Al-Dujaili of Queen Margaret University. “Our study adds to the body of evidence showing the importance of tackling this widespread problem.”

“Our pilot study suggests that taking vitamin D supplements can improve fitness levels and lower cardiovascular risk factors such as blood pressure,” stated study coauthor Raquel Revuelta Iniesta, who is a lecturer in nutrition at Queen Margaret University. “Our next step is to perform a larger clinical trial for a longer period of time in both healthy individuals and large groups of athletes such as cyclists or long-distance runners.”

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