Vitamin D May Improve Exercise Performance, Lower Cardiovascular Risk Factors
Research has found that vitamin D may block the enzyme 11-?HSD1, which is necessary to make the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol has been found to raise blood pressure by restricting arteries, narrowing blood vessels, and stimulating the kidneys to retain water. A recent study suggests that vitamin D supplements may improve exercise performance and reduce the risk of developing heart disease by suppressing cortisol and lowering blood pressure.
Participants in the study included 13 healthy adults who were matched by age and weight. They were given either 50 ?g of vitamin D daily or a placebo over the course of two weeks. At the conclusion of the study, the researchers found that the supplement group had lower blood pressure and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol in their urine, when compared with the placebo.
After a fitness test, they also found that the supplement group could cycle 4 miles in 20 minutes, while they were only able to cycle 3.1 miles at the beginning of the study. After the second fitness test, they also showed lower sign of physical exertion than they had after the first test.
Researchers from the Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh conducted the study. It was presented at the Society for Endocrinology annual conference in Edinburgh on November 1, 2015.
Previous studies have associated vitamin D with reducing the risk of skin damage, reducing the risk of osteoporosis, combating diabetes, and improving age related macular degeneration.
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.