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Vitamin D Status and Supplementation Practices in Elite Irish Athletes: An Update from 2010/2011

Northern Ireland Centre for Food and Health, University of Ulster, Coleraine, Londonderry BT52 1SA, Northern Ireland, UK
Irish Institute of Sport, Sports Campus Ireland, Abbotstown, Dublin 15, Republic of Ireland
School of Biochemistry and Immunology, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2, Republic of Ireland
Department of Biochemistry, Central Pathology Laboratory, St. James’s Hospital, Dublin 8, Republic of Ireland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2016, 8(8), 485;
Received: 24 May 2016 / Revised: 3 August 2016 / Accepted: 3 August 2016 / Published: 9 August 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition, Health and Athletic Performance)
Vitamin D deficiency is a global health concern that is prevalent in Ireland. The vitamin D status of elite Irish athletes following implementation of a revised supplementation policy in 2010/2011 has not been explored to date. This study aimed to assess the vitamin D status of elite Irish athletes participating in high-profile sports and establish if equatorial travel, supplementation and/or sunbed use predict vitamin D status. Across Ireland, blood samples (n = 92) were obtained from cricketers (n = 28), boxers (n = 21) and women’s rugby sevens players (n = 43) between November 2013 and April 2015. Total 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations were quantified using LC-MS/MS. Parathyroid hormone and adjusted calcium concentrations were measured by clinical biochemistry. Athletes completed a questionnaire that queried equatorial travel, supplementation and sunbed use. Vitamin D sufficiency (25(OH)D >50 nmol/L) was evident in 86% of athletes. Insufficiency (31–49 nmol/L) and deficiency (<30 nmol/L) was present in only 12% and 2% of athletes respectively. On average, athletes from all sport disciplines were vitamin D sufficient and 25% reported vitamin D supplementation which was a significant positive predictor of vitamin D status, (OR 4.31; 95% CI 1.18–15.75; p = 0.027). Equatorial travel and sun bed use were reported in 47% and 16% of athletes respectively however these factors did not predict vitamin D status (both p > 0.05). Although different cohorts were assessed, the overall prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency/deficiency was 55% in 2010/2011 compared with only 14% in 2013/2015. Targeted supplementation is highly effective in optimising vitamin D status, negating the need for blanket-supplementation in elite cohorts. View Full-Text
Keywords: Elite athletes; vitamin D; supplementation Elite athletes; vitamin D; supplementation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Todd, J.; Madigan, S.; Pourshahidi, K.; McSorley, E.; Laird, E.; Healy, M.; Magee, P. Vitamin D Status and Supplementation Practices in Elite Irish Athletes: An Update from 2010/2011. Nutrients 2016, 8, 485.

AMA Style

Todd J, Madigan S, Pourshahidi K, McSorley E, Laird E, Healy M, Magee P. Vitamin D Status and Supplementation Practices in Elite Irish Athletes: An Update from 2010/2011. Nutrients. 2016; 8(8):485.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Todd, Joshua, Sharon Madigan, Kirsty Pourshahidi, Emeir McSorley, Eamon Laird, Martin Healy, and Pamela Magee. 2016. "Vitamin D Status and Supplementation Practices in Elite Irish Athletes: An Update from 2010/2011" Nutrients 8, no. 8: 485.

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