Abstract: Vitamin D deficiency is a global health concern that is prevalent in Ireland. The vitamin D status of elite Irish athletes following implementation of a revised supplementation policy in 2010/2011 has not been explored to date. This study aimed to assess the vitamin D status of elite Irish athletes participating in high-profile sports and establish if equatorial travel, supplementation and/or sunbed use predict vitamin D status. Across Ireland, blood samples (n = 92) were obtained from cricketers (n = 28), boxers (n = 21) and women’s rugby sevens players (n = 43) between November 2013 and April 2015. Total 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations were quantified using LC-MS/MS. Parathyroid hormone and adjusted calcium concentrations were measured by clinical biochemistry. Athletes completed a questionnaire that queried equatorial travel, supplementation and sunbed use. Vitamin D sufficiency (25(OH)D >50 nmol/L) was evident in 86% of athletes. Insufficiency (31–49 nmol/L) and deficiency ( 0.05). Although different cohorts were assessed, the overall prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency/deficiency was 55% in 2010/2011 compared with only 14% in 2013/2015. Targeted supplementation is highly effective in optimising vitamin D status, negating the need for blanket- supplementation in elite cohorts.
- elite athletes
- vitamin D