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NFL Football Tackle

Inadequate Vitamin D Levels Associated with Higher Injury Risk

Vitamin D is an essential nutrient, but many people are not getting adequate amounts through diet and sun. A recent study suggests that inadequate vitamin D levels may be associated with higher injury risk and lower muscle function in NFL players.


Participants in the study included 214 athletes from the 2015 NFL combine. The researchers collected serum vitamin D levels as well as information about age, race, body mass index, position, and injury history related to lower extremity muscle strain or core muscle injury. They defined serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels of less than 32 ng/mL as normal, 20 to 30 ng/mL as insufficient, and less than 20 ng/mL as deficient.


The researchers found that 50% of the athletes had a history of lower extremity muscle strain or core muscle injury and that those injuries were associated with lower vitamin D levels. They also found that the athletes with an injury history had significantly lower vitamin D levels than athletes without an injury history.


Researchers from Scripps Clinic in California led the study. It was published online ahead of print on December 21, 2017, in The Journal of Arthroscopic and Related Surgery.


Vitamin D can be found in milk, fortified cereals, fish, and eggs. Your body also processes vitamin D from the sun but it becomes harder for our bodies to process it as we age. A high-quality vitamin D supplement is always a good option if you feel that you’re not getting enough through diet and sun.

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