- Indoor basketball players are more prone to vitamin D deficiency
- Athletes who play indoor sports like basketball tend to have low levels of vitamin D
- Therefore, having low levels of vitamin D can cause injury or affect performance among indoor players
According to MayoClinic.org, vitamin D is necessary for building and maintaining healthy bones. Without it, bones can become soft, thin and brittle and can lead to other medical issues down the road including osteoporosis as well as some types of cancer.
"Many athletes are now engaging in supplementation and we don't currently know what the optimal or safe amount of supplementation may be," says Dr. Sina Gallo, assistant professor in Mason's Department of Nutrition and Food Studies.
"Prior studies that have addressed this topic typically report data from non-athletic, older populations. Because athletes may not get the necessary vitamin D through natural dietary sources, supplementation offers a safe, affordable, efficacious method to combat deficiencies. This may be particularly beneficial for athletes living at higher latitudes during the winter months."
During the season, players were monitored regularly. Compliance to supplementation was assessed by the athletic trainers designated to each team. Each player's body composition, skin pigmentation, sun exposure, dietary intake, and blood were collected during the study.
Of those sampled in the study, athletes with darker skin pigmentation exhibited heightened risk of vitamin D insufficiency at baseline, and none of the participants with fair or very fair skin fell into the insufficient category at baseline.
"Albeit a pilot study with a small sample size to derive from, the current results provide further evidence of the high prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency among a sample of highly-trained, NCAA-DI basketball athletes," says Dr. Andrew Jagim, Sport Medicine Research, Mayo Clinic Health System.
"We, as authors, agree that a larger sample is warranted to aid in the development of screening protocols which will enable medical and sports nutrition staff around the country to identify key risk factors of athletes becoming vitamin D deficient."
- The Effects of Cholecalciferol Supplementation on Vitamin D Status Among a Diverse Population of Collegiate Basketball Athletes: A Quasi-Experimental Trial - (https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12020370)