Can vitamin D enhance your fitness routine? research indicates

Higher levels of vitamin D can increase your efficacy in using oxygen. That can also increase your exercise routine and cardiorespiratory fitness.

Cardiorespiratory fitness is the ability of the lungs and heart to supply oxygen to the body muscles during exercise. Scientists have believed that vitamin D is vital to your brain, bone, and heart health for several years.

Moreover, they now think that people with high vitamin D get a lift in their exercise routines, too.
The study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology discovers that higher vitamin D levels are linked to better exercise abilities. The outcomes add to the evidence that vitamin D plays a role in heart health. It also helps in increasing exercise capability, and probably reducing the cardiovascular disease risk.

Previous researchers have found that people who exercise often are more probable to have high levels of vitamin D. This study shows the link between vitamin D levels and overall cardiorespiratory health, or how well your body performs during exercise.

Cardiorespiratory health is best observed by the maximum oxygen you consume during exercise. This amount of oxygen shows how efficiently your heart and lungs work together during exercise to pass oxygen around your body to muscles that require it. The discoveries are stated as your VO2 max.

People having a better cardiorespiratory health, or greater VO2 max ability, can exercise more vigorously and longer. It shows they may also have better overall health compared to people with lower cardiorespiratory fitness. These persons may live longer, better lives as a result.

What the study showed

The researchers observed nearly 2,000 individuals having the ages between 20 and 49. The countrywide study, conducted between 2001 and 2004. This study compared vitamin D levels in every participant’s blood with their cardiorespiratory health, which was measured by a treadmill test.

Participants were then divided into four equal groups, or quartiles, on the basis of their vitamin D levels. The cardiorespiratory aptness for those in the top quarter of contestants was 4.3 times higher than individuals in the bottom quartile.

The link remained significant even after adjusting factors which can affect this relationship. For example age, sex, race, hypertension, diabetes, body mass index, and smoking history. The topmost quarter still had a cardiorespiratory fitness 2.9 times higher than people in the bottom division.

Dr. Amr Marawan, who is an assistant professor of internal medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University and a co-author of the study, said in a declaration from the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). “The link between greater vitamin D levels and better exercise ability holds in women and men, across ethnicities, through the young and middle age groups, irrespective of smoking status and body mass index, and if participants have diabetes or hypertension,”.

Each 10-point rise in levels of vitamin D in the blood was related to a 0.78-point rise in V02 max. This proposes that incremental rises in vitamin D identical an equivalent enhancement in your exercise ability.

Marawan quickly points out that their examination is only an observational study. It can’t display a cause-and-effect connection between exercise capabilities and vitamin D. Still, he added in the speech to ESC that the link between these two factors is “strong, incremental, and reliable across groups.”

Where to get vitamin D

The research also didn’t indicate the best vitamin D sources. Vitamin D, also famous as the sunshine vitamin, produces in your body naturally in response to sun exposure. It’s also naturally present in some foods, like fish and egg yolks.

Though your body can develop vitamin D naturally, it can only do so during sufficient sun exposure. This amount of sunlight is hard to get in winters and in latitudes above the 37th parallel north.

In that case, it’s better to get the vitamin from fatty fish, comprising mackerel, tuna, and salmon. You can also obtain it from fortified cereal and milk, egg yolks, and cheese. Some leafy greens are also good sources of vitamin D, like kale, spinach, and collard greens. Supplements can also lift your levels of the vitamin.

“The daily suggested dose is 400 to 800 international units (IU),” Marwan told. “Some studies support higher doses up to 4,000 IU for superior cardiovascular health, but more studies didn’t. There is no contract that greater vitamin D supplements will have a healthier outcome.” However, you have to use care with supplements. An excess amount of vitamin D can also lead to toxicity. Symptoms of this toxicity comprise nausea, vomiting, and weakness.

“There’s nothing which alternates for what your mom tells: Eat healthy, exercise, and heed to your body,” says Dr. Nicole Weinberg, who is a cardiologist at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California. “It’s possibly not as complex as we’re trying to make it.”

Weinberg says she often inspires patients to try exercise and an enriched intake over supplements for better cardiovascular health.

“These are the things which I see time and time again show for durability brain health, heart health, infection, and more,” she told.

The benefits of vitamin D

The research from Marwan and colleagues isn’t the first study to link vitamin D levels to heart fitness and exercise capability. Harvard researchers on 2011 released a study which found that people who exercise and regularly vigorously have higher vitamin D levels.

In 2017, a study from Johns Hopkins University in Maryland found a “synergistic” connection between exercise and vitamin D levels, too. The researchers resolute that persons who exercise more have greater vitamin D levels. And the most active research participants with the maximum vitamin D levels also had the lowest cardiovascular disease risk.

From these studies, however, it’s quite unclear whether vitamin D is driving fitness, or if improved fitness helps the body increase vitamin D stores. It seems instead that they both work together to correspondingly develop one another. This shows that taking more vitamin D only isn’t going to develop your VO2 max or fitness abilities. Exercise is must gain the benefits.

“Fitness and physical activity are interrelated, so it is not astonishing that vitamin D would be linked with fitness,” Dr. Erin D. Michos, MS, associate professor of medicine and epidemiology and associate director of preventive cardiology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, told.

“However I would be very careful in then taking this as vitamin D is paying to an increase in VO2 max in a direct or causal manner. It may just be that persons who are doing more physical activity are more fit. And individuals doing more outdoor physical activity have greater vitamin D levels, but vitamin D levels are not directly linked to fitness.”

The bottom line

People with temperate to high vitamin D levels may have the highest cardiorespiratory fitness. But, you shouldn’t ingest large dosages of vitamin D supplements to raise your amount of this vital nutrient.

As a substitute, try to have foods rich in vitamin D and catch a sensible amount of sunshine exposure. Take supplements only if directed by your physician.

If you aren’t sure about your vitamin D levels, appeal a test from your doctor. Hence, you can analyze the outcomes and ponder options for increasing your vitamin D levels if they are low.



Areeba Hussain

Areeba is an independent medical and healthcare writer. For the last three years, she is writing for Tophealthjournal. Her prime areas of interest are diseases, medicine, treatments, and alternative therapies. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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