Gyms closed? Vitamin D keeps your fat percentage low
How athletes' fat percentage responds to a period on physical inactivity depends on their vitamin D levels. This is suggested by a small human study, which the Japanese researchers at Nagoya University published in Nutrition & Metabolism.
In March 2020, the researchers determined the body composition of 42 elite male athletes, and did some blood tests as well. 27 athletes who wanted this were given a vitamin D supplement and took it for 3 months. The product in question was Vitamin D Super 1000 IU Nature Made from Otsuka Pharmaceutical.
The other 15 athletes did not use vitamin D.
A month after the study began, Japan was hit by the coronavirus and training facilities closed. The athletes were therefore unable to train for the last two months.
When the 3 months were up, the Japanese re-examined the athletes.
The fat percentage of the athletes who had not taken vitamin D increased by 1.9 points. In the athletes who had taken vitamin D, the increase in fat percentage was limited to 0.2 points.
Click on the table and figure below for larger versions.
The greater the increase in vitamin D levels, the smaller the increase in fat percentage.
"Vitamin D supplementation might have preferable effect on maintaining athletes' body composition under circumstances where sports activity has decreased, the researchers think", the researchers summarize.
Nutr Metab (Lond). 2021 May 21;18(1):51.
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