The impact of 1-year vitamin D supplementation on vitamin D status in athletes: a dose–response study


To assess the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in Dutch athletes and to define the required dosage of vitamin D3 supplementation to prevent vitamin D deficiency over the course of a year.



Blood samples were collected from 128 highly trained athletes to assess total 25(OH)D concentration. Of these 128 athletes, 54 male and 48 female athletes (18–32 years) were included in a randomized, double blind, dose–response study. Athletes with either a deficient (<50nmol/l) or an insufficient (50–75nmol/l) 25(OH)D concentration were randomly assigned to take 400, 1100 or 2200 IU vitamin D3 per day orally for 1 year. Athletes who had a total 25(OH)D concentration above 75nmol/l at baseline continued with the study protocol without receiving vitamin D supplements. Serum total 25(OH)D concentration was assessed every 3 months, as well as dietary vitamin D intake and sunlight exposure.



Nearly 70% of all athletes showed an insufficient (50–75nmol/l) or a deficient (<50nmol/l) 25(OH)D concentration at baseline. After 12 months, serum 25(OH)D concentration had increased more in the 2200 IU/day group (+50±27nmol/l) than the sufficient group receiving no supplements (+4±17nmol/l; P<0.01) and the 1100 IU/day group (+25±23nmol/l; P<0.05). Supplementation with 2200 IU/day vitamin D resulted in a sufficient 25(OH)D concentration in 80% of the athletes after 12 months.



Vitamin D deficiency is highly prevalent in athletes. Athletes with a deficient or an insufficient 25(OH)D concentration can achieve a sufficient 25(OH)D concentration within 3 months by taking 2200 IU/day. 


Autor / Fonte:E M P Backx, M Tieland, K Maase, A K Kies, M Mensink, L J C van Loon, L C P G M de Groot European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2016 July 27