By now most of us know that an adequate intake of vitamin D is necessary for our bodies to absorb the calcium we need to build and keep strong bones, but now there’s evidence that vitamin D is a much more interesting and versatile little vitamin than previously thought.
According to an article on the website www.vitalchoice.com, (“Vitamin D Aids Muscle Strength, Resiliency, and Recovery”), the role this vitamin plays may be much more than just helping us to absorb our calcium. According to this article, vitamin D may play a major part in helping our muscles recover after strenuous exercise or even muscle injury.
Vitamin D is a multi-talented vitamin. It boosts blood levels quickly and efficiently and regulates certain processes that help muscles move, repair, and grow. According to the article, a study conducted at the Orthopedic Specialty Hospital in Utah found that leg strength was recovered more quickly in a group of adults who had higher levels of the vitamin in their systems than in those with a lower amount, as tested before and after a strenuous workout. The doctors performing this study concluded that higher vitamin D levels appear to protect against muscle weakness caused by muscle damage. In another study, doctors in Britain found that ballet dancers showed greater strength, higher vertical jumps, and less injuries than a control group after being put on a 2000 UI regimen of D3 for a period of 4 months.
It also seems that vitamin D’s benefits extend beyond that of muscle repair after a tough workout. According to the article “What Vitamins Should You Take Before Surgery?” (www.huffingtonpost.com), vitamin D assists the cellular repair and growth required after any type of surgery.
In another study, Professor of Orthopedic Surgery and Chief of the Metabolic Bone Disease Service at New York’s Hospital for Special Surgery Joseph Lane, MD and colleagues reviewed the charts of 723 men and women scheduled for orthopedic surgery from January, 2007 to March, 2008. Their conclusion was that a vitamin D deficiency in people scheduled for orthopedic surgery occurs 50% of the time. This condition is fixable, and according to the doctors involved in the study, “We recommend that people undergoing a procedure that involves the bone or the muscle should collect their vitamin D if they want to have better results, with an earlier, faster recovery. What we are saying is “wake up guys, smell the coffee; half of your patients have a problem, measure it, and if they are low, then fix it.'”
Vitamin D is interesting in that not only can it be absorbed from outside food & supplement sources, but the body can also manufacture it from sunlight. But no matter how we get it into our bodies, there seems to be plenty of evidence to suggest that not only is vitamin D important to daily bone health, but to muscle recovery after strenuous exercise, and bone and muscle repair after injury and/or surgery.
Written by: Tricia Doane, FizzNiche Staff Writer