The findings of a study by Ulster University in conjunction with health pioneers BetterYou, have confirmed existing literature showing how athletes, despite spending an above average amount of time outdoors, are still at risk of vitamin D deficiency.
The randomised placebo controlled trial looked at the effect of vitamin D on 35 healthy Gaelic footballers using BetterYou’s DLux3000 vitamin D oral spray delivering a daily dosage of 3000IU over a period of 12 weeks.
Key findings from the study showed that:
- The vast majority of participants (72%) were vitamin D insufficient, over a fifth (22%) of which were classed as clinically deficient
- After 12 weeks of supplementation mean vitamin D levels were significantly increased by 77% from baseline, increasing mean levels to 80nmol/L, compared to no significant change in the placebo group. Athletes who were vitamin D deficient before the start of the study had boosted levels to ‘adequate’ after 12 weeks of vitamin D oral spray supplementation
- Authors noted how this was in contrast to previous trials in athletes, again over a 12-week period, which found no significant change in vitamin D concentrations with a 1000IU supplement, supporting the requirement for a high dosage 3000IU spray
- This trial has successfully demonstrated how a high dose oral spray of vitamin D can dramatically increase vitamin D levels and resolve deficiency in a population of healthy athletes.
Vitamin D has been associated with helping athletes avoid injury. An article by The Wall Street Journal highlighted a number of studies linking low levels of the sunshine vitamin to bone fractures, muscle strains and poor recovery in elite athletes.
The English Institute of Sport recommends that once athletes are replete of vitamin D (achieving above 75nmol/L) a dose of 4,000IU is maintained each day from September to April inclusive. If the individual is at high risk of vitamin D deficiency (for example, train indoors, have previous bone stress, have malabsorption issues, have increased skin pigmentation) then it is recommended that they continue with this dose all year and retest every quarter.
Dr Pamela Magee, principal investigator of Ulster University study, said:
Our research has demonstrated that supplementation with the DLux oral spray (3000IU daily) is effective in correcting vitamin D insufficiency in Gaelic footballers over the winter months. Vitamin D supplementation had no effect on aerobic fitness, skeletal muscle or lung function in this cohort of athletes over the time period assessed.
Andrew Thomas founder and managing director of BetterYou says:
This trial shows that even athletes who spend a lot of time outside are at risk of vitamin D deficiency. Deficiency has been linked to a number of disorders as well as a decrease in athletic performance.
Vitamin D deficiency can be easily corrected by supplementation and simple lifestyle changes. By taking just one spray a day of our DLux oral spray, you can ensure your vitamin D levels can be effectively managed.
The natural health company is supporting National Vitamin D Awareness Week (24-30 October), and aims to eradicate vitamin D deficiency in the UK by 2020.
NICE has estimated deficiency in the UK to be around 10 million people. Public Health England (PHE) recommends that everyone take a daily vitamin D supplement of 10 micrograms (400IU) to protect bone and muscle health during autumn and winter.
The advice, which sees the supplementation advice broaden from ‘at risk’ groups to everyone, is based on the recommendations of the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) following its review of the evidence on vitamin D and health.
BetterYou’s range of DLux oral vitamin D sprays comes in different strengths for people of all ages. The key benefits of an oral spray include convenience and guaranteed absorption which traditional tablets, capsules and drops (which all rely upon an increasingly inefficient digestive system) simply can’t. An oral spray doesn’t require water to take, does not need to be taken with food and is easy to use on the go.
Multiple clinical trials have found that oral vitamin sprays elevate serum vitamin D levels faster than traditional tablets and capsules.