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Nutrición Hospitalaria

On-line version ISSN 1699-5198Print version ISSN 0212-1611


VALTUENA, Jara et al. High prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency among elite Spanish athletes: the importance of outdoor training adaptation. Nutr. Hosp. [online]. 2014, vol.30, n.1, pp.124-131. ISSN 1699-5198.

Introduction: The discovery of vitamin D muscle receptors in the last few years suggested a significant role in muscle tissue, pointing out athletes as a special group. Specific data are scarce. Aim: The main aim of the current paper was to provide, for the first time, comparable data about vitamin D status in elite Spanish athletes by sport, age, season and training environment. Methods: Four hundred and eight elite athletes with a mean age of 22.8 ± 8.4 years were recruited from the High-performance sport centre in Barcelona for this cross-sectional study. Athletes from 34 different sports modalities were analysed. Data were available for vitamin D status, training environment, seasonality and number of medical visits. All data were analysed using SPSS version 18.0. Results: Mean 25(OH)D of all athletes was 56.7 ± 23.4 nmol/L. Approximately 82% of the athletes were below the optimal levels, (< 75nmol/l), 45% had moderate deficient levels (< 50 nmol/L) and 6% had severe deficiency (< 27.5 nmol/L). We have observed a steady increase in 25(OH)D concentrations with increasing age (p < 0.01) Highest levels were observed in those subjects training outdoors compared with those training indoor (p<0.01). Differences between sport modalities were observed. Even during summer, 87% of the athletes had insufficient 25(OH)D concentrations. Conclusion: There is a high prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency among elite Spanish athletes. Outdoor training could ensure vitamin D sufficiency and differences between sports modalities should be taken into account for future research. The results contribute to identify the need of optimizing vitamin D status across athletes.

Keywords : 25(OH)D concentrations; Elite ahtletes; Sun exposure; Sports modalities; Training.

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