Saturday, July 24, 2010

Vitamin D Supplements Gain Attention for Muscle Recovery

USANA Health Sciences and TOSH Collaborate on New Vitamin Study...
Can Vitamin D Reduce Muscular Weakness in Healthy, Active Adults?

Can Vitamin D help your body recover more quickly from the pain and stiffness associated with vigorous exercise, or even improve recovery from surgery?   Researchers at TOSH - The Orthopedic Specialty Hospital, and USANA Health Sciences, are hoping to answer these questions with a study focused on vitamin D supplements.

In the study, Tyler Barker, PhD., a physiologist at TOSH, and Brian Dixon, PhD., senior scientist at USANA, are hoping to determine whether vitamin D - most recently championed as a means to prevent or reduce a person's risk of cardiovascular disease - can reduce post-exercise muscular weakness in young, physically-active people.  

"The implication here is that vitamin D will help shorten recovery time by minimizing muscular weakness," says Dr. Barker.  "That could make a significant difference in an individual's performance and help them avoid some of the unpleasant after-effects of vigorous or unaccustomed exercise and establish the basis for future studies conducted at the molecular and cellular level."

Dr. Barker classified the study participants as "weekend warriors" ages 18 to 45 years old, who are not taking any vitamin supplements.  The athletes are randomly divided into three groups: one is given a placebo, the other two groups receive either 200 I.U. or 4000 IU (International units)  of a specially formulated vitamin D (cholecalciferol) supplement.  Study participants will provide several blood samples and muscular strength measures prior to and following intense exercise.  

Dr. Barker says researchers are only testing study participants during the winter months when a person's vitamin D levels are at their lowest levels.  The study began this past winter and is expected to run for two to three more years.  

Note from Deanna:  As of July 2010, Osteoporosis Canada has increased their recommended guidelines for vitamin D intake levels, and is now recommending daily supplements of 400 to 1000 IU for adults under age 50 without osteoporosis or conditions affecting vitamin D absorption.  For adults over 50, supplements of between 800 and 2000 IU are recommended.

Their report makes it clear that dietary supplements are the recommended method for raising vitamin D levels.  "Supplementation is necessary to obtain adequate levels as dietary intake has minimal impact."

Canadians are often at increased risk of seasonal vitamin D deficiency because winter sunlight in northern latitudes (above 35), lacks the ultraviolet-B necessary to stimulate sufficient vitamin D production.

Deanna Waters...  Committed to Your Health Journey
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