Vitamin D Status of Females in an Elite Gymnastics Program


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Abstract

Objective:Vitamin D plays an important role in calcium and bone metabolism. In Australia it has been assumed that all young athletes have good vitamin D levels. A survey of females in an elite gymnastics program was undertaken to determine their vitamin D and dietary calcium status.Design:Cross-sectional survey.Setting:Females in an elite gymnastics program at the Australian Institute of Sport.Participants and Outcome Measures:Eighteen female gymnasts aged 10-17 years were assessed for vitamin D status (serum 25[OH]D) and dietary calcium intake.Results:Fifteen were found to have levels below current recommended guidelines for optimal bone health (<75 nmol/L). Six had vitamin D levels below 50 nmol/L. Thirteen of the gymnasts also had daily dietary calcium intakes below the daily recommended intake for their age.Conclusions:Gymnasts and possibly other indoor athletes should be carefully reviewed for vitamin D and calcium status.

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