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Vitamin D Linked To Cardiorespiratory Fitness

Cardiorespiratory fitness is the ability of the heart and lungs to supply oxygen to the muscles during exercise. A recent study suggests that blood levels of vitamin D may be linked to cardiorespiratory fitness.


Participants in the study included 1,995 people between the ages of 20 and 49 years who took part in the National Health and Nutrition Survey (NHANES) from 2001-2004. 45% were women, 49% were white, 13% had hypertension, and 4% had diabetes. The researchers used survey-weighted linear regression to examine the relationship between maximal oxygen consumption (VO2 max) and vitamin D levels.


When researchers examined the data, they found that the participants who had the highest levels of vitamin D had cardiovascular fitness that was 4.3 times better than those with the least. After adjusting for confounding factors — including age, sex, race, body mass index, smoking, hypertension, and diabetes — the top quartile still had cardiovascular fitness that was 2.9 times better than those in the bottom quartile. Each 10 nmol/L increase in vitamin D was associated with a statistically significant 0.78 mL/kg/min increase in VO2 max.


Researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on October 30, 2018, in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.


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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