Effect of Vitamin D on Muscle Function and Injury in Elite Adolescent Dancers: A Randomized Double-Blind Study

in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
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Purpose: A number of studies have noted low levels of vitamin D in dancers, and this has been associated with increased risk of injuries and decreased muscle-strength indices. The aim of the present study was to examine whether vitamin D supplementation over a 4-mo period can improve muscle function and injury incidence. Methods: A total of 84 participants volunteered; exclusion criteria and dropout (19%) reduced the cohort to 67 participants (females = 29 and males = 38; 17–19 y). Participants were randomly assigned to either an intervention or placebo group (2∶1 ratio). All provided a venous blood sample before and after the 4-mo study period. The intervention group received 120,000 IU vitamin D to be taken over a 1-wk period, and the placebo group received the same number of inert pills. Participants completed a series of muscle function tests before and after the monitoring period. Injury incidence was recorded by the independent health team at the school. Results: Preintervention, 6% of the cohort were vitamin D deficient, 81% were insufficient, and 13% had sufficient levels; postintervention, 53% were insufficient and 47% were sufficient. The intervention group reported a significant increase in serum 25(OH)D3 (57%; P < .00) and isometric strength (7.8%; P = .022) but not muscle power. There was a significant association between traumatic injury occurrence for the intervention and control groups (10.9% vs 31.8%; P < .02). Conclusion: Vitamin D supplementation decreased the numbers of deficient and insufficient participants in this cohort. The intervention group reported a small significant increase in muscle strength that was negatively associated with traumatic injury occurrence.

Wyon, Kolokythas, and Galloway are with the Research Centre for Sport, Exercise and Performance, Inst of Human Sciences, University of Wolverhampton, United Kingdom. Wolman is with the Dept of Rheumatology and Sport and Exercise Medicine, Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Stanmore, United Kingdom. Sheriff and Mattiussi are with the Healthcare Team, Royal Ballet School, London, United Kingdom. Wyon and Wolman are with the National Inst of Dance Medicine and Science, Birmingham, United Kingdom.

Wyon (m.wyon@wlv.ac.uk) is corresponding author.
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