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According to current studies, most athletes are vitamin D deficient, which may impair muscle function and performance. Because we get an abundance of our vitamin D from the conversion of 7-dehydrocholesterol in the skin during sun exposure, vitamin D deficiency has become more prevalent as we protect ourselves from the sun’s skin damaging UV rays.
In the most basic sense, vitamin D is essential for calcium
metabolism and absorption in the body. It also regulates numerous genes in the body and plays significant roles in regulating inflammation
and immunity. In skeletal muscle, it has been shown that vitamin D is important for calcium regulation, protein synthesis and muscle growth
Most recently, it was shown that vitamin D supplementation decreased fatigue after exercise in otherwise healthy, young vitamin D deficient subjects. According to this research, the mechanism by which vitamin D promotes exercise fatigue resistance is through increasing mitochondrial function in skeletal muscle. Mitochondria are the muscle’s energy powerhouse, where an abundance of ATP (energy) is produced. This is the first study to demonstrate the link between vitamin D and mitochondria in skeletal muscle.
If you have been battling fatigue, you should have your blood vitamin D levels checked by your doctor. You can also find a number of vitamin D blood tests available online (which simply require a finger prick for a blood sample).
Sinha A, Hollingsworth KG, Ball S, Cheetham T. Improving the vitamin d status of vitamin d deficient adults is associated with improved mitochondrial oxidative function in skeletal muscle. Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013 Mar;98(3):E509-13. doi: 10.1210/jc.2012-3592. Epub 2013 Feb 7.