A recent study suggests that a vitamin D deficiency in football players is responsible for muscle-related injuries . It is still unclear, however, if fewer injuries would take place if all (or most) players received adequate amounts of vitamin D. Vitamin D is extremely important for overall health.
73% of players with a severe deficiency in vitamin D had experienced a muscle strain or injury
It turns out that the elderly and college football players have a lot in common. For starters, they’re both prone to injury due to a lack of the sunshine vitamin — that is, vitamin D.
Brittle bones, muscle breakdown, even mood swings and depression. We know a vitamin D deficiency is the source of many physical and mental maladies. But we don’t often think about how a seemingly trivial vitamin deficiency can sideline even elite athletes, like the rough-and-tumble college football players.
A new study, lead by Dr. Brian Rebolledo of Scripps Clinic, suggests that upwards of two-thirds of college football players are lacking vitamin D. And those who are deficient in the ‘D’ department are experiencing injuries at a higher rate than other players.
In the study of 214 players, nearly 60% were vitamin D deficient. More than half of this group had experienced some sort of muscle-related strain or injury. To validate the correlation, Dr. Rebolledo and his team found that an astounding 73% of players with a severe deficiency in vitamin D had experienced a muscle strain or injury, opposed to a relatively low 40% of injuries in those with normal vitamin D.
A mindful sun exposure is extremely important for overall health
The study speaks volumes to the importance of adequate and responsible exposure to the sun — which is the very source of vitamin D. Put positively, more of the sunshine vitamin could mean stronger, healthier players. But alas, Dr. Rebolledo admits “Additional research needs to be done to see if boosting vitamin D levels leads to improved muscle function and fewer injuries.”
People are beginning to understand that vitamin D is foundational for a healthy mind, body, and soul. Intentional time spent outdoors in the sun is never time wasted. And if we wish to remain balanced and strong, we should incorporate mindful sun exposure into our daily routines.