Higher levels of vitamin D found to improve your exercise outcomes
03/20/2019 // Michelle Simmons // Views

Vitamin D is more than just a bone-building vitamin; it can also enhance your exercise regimen. A study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology shows that higher levels of vitamin D are associated with better exercise capacity.

Earlier studies have shown that people who exercise regularly tend to have high levels of vitamin D. In the current study, researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine assessed the link between vitamin D levels and cardiorespiratory fitness, which is how well the body performs during exercise. To do this, they looked at the data of almost 2,000 individuals aged between 20 and 49 years old from the National Health and Nutrition Survey conducted between 2001 and 2004. The nationwide study compared each participant's vitamin D levels with their cardiorespiratory fitness, which was examined using a treadmill test.

People with a more enhanced cardiorespiratory health, or higher VO2 max capacity, can exercise longer and more vigorously. This also means that they have better overall health than those with lower cardiorespiratory health. As a result, they may live longer, healthier lives. Then, they divided the participants into four groups according to their vitamin D levels. Participants with the highest vitamin D levels had 4.3 times higher cardiorespiratory fitness compared to those with the lowest vitamin D levels.

The association remained significant even after the researchers adjusted for factors, such as age, sex, race, body mass index, hypertension, diabetes, and smoking history; those with the highest vitamin D levels still had 2.9 times greater cardiorespiratory fitness than people with the lowest vitamin D levels.


For every 10-point increase in vitamin D levels in the blood, there was a 0.78-point increase in V02 max. This indicates that even small increases in levels of vitamin D result in an increase in exercise capacity.

You can increase your vitamin D levels by doing the following:

  • Get exposed to the sun: Getting 10 to 15 sun exposure daily can help the body make vitamin D. If you do not want to stay outdoors to get sun exposure, you can also sit by an open window to promote the production of vitamin D.
  • Eating more foods rich in vitamin D: You can also boost your vitamin D levels by eating foods loaded with the vitamin. The best food sources of vitamin D include fatty fish, such as cod, salmon, tuna, and sardines; yogurt; and fortified milk and orange juice.
  • Taking a vitamin D supplement: You can also take supplements to increase your vitamin D intake.

Other health benefits of vitamin D

Vitamin D also offers the following health benefits:

  • Vitamin D wards off diseases: Various studies have shown that this vitamin D may help lower the risk of various diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, heart disease, and flu. (Related: High doses of vitamin D can reduce your risk of a respiratory illness, especially if you’re older.)
  • Vitamin D fights depression: According to research, vitamin D takes part in regulating mood and preventing depression. One study showed that people with depression who took vitamin D supplements saw improvements in their symptoms. Another study reported that vitamin D deficiency was linked to anxiety and depression.
  • Vitamin D aids in weight loss: People trying to lose weight can also benefit from taking vitamin D supplements. Studies have shown that taking vitamin D supplements increased weight loss and improved markers of heart disease in overweight individuals.

Read more news stories and studies on the health benefits of vitamin D by going to VitaminD.news.

Sources include:

Healthline.com 1

Healthline.com 2


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