Low Vitamin D in basketball players: what happens on jumping and hopping?
by LORENZO CIOTTI | VIEW 1361
The International journal of environmental research and public health, published an interesting study, titled, Hypovitaminosis D in Young Basketball Players: Association with Jumping and Hopping Performance Considering Gender, which retrospectively looks at what low vitamin D intake actually entails in young baskeballs players.
We can read: "This study aimed to verify whether a group of young well-trained basketball players presented deficiencies in vitamin D concentration, and to analyze whether there was an association between vitamin D concentration and jumping and hopping performance.
Gender differences were considered. Twenty-seven players from an international high-level basketball club participated in this cross-sectional study. Jumping and hopping performance was confirmed to be significantly larger in males, whose CV% were always smaller.
A positive correlation was found between AbB and vitamin D in males, whereas this correlation was negative for females, who also presented a negative correlation between THR and vitamin D. A prevalence of hypovitaminosis D was confirmed in young elite athletes training indoors.
Nutritional controls should be conducted throughout the season. Furthermore, whilst performance seems to be affected by low levels of this vitamin in men, these deficiencies appear to have a different association with jumping and hopping in women, pointing to different performance mechanisms.
Further studies accounting for differences in training and other factors might delve into these gender differences.
Nutrition plays an important role in the health and performance of athletes. In particular, vitamins are essential in various processes, including hemoglobin synthesis, maintenance of bone health, immune function, protection against oxidative damage, neuronal functions, and the synthesis and repair of muscle tissue during recovery from injury.
Over the last decade, the monitoring of vitamin D, or calciferol, a fat-soluble vitamin with the structure of a steroid hormone that is functionally different from all others, has been of particular interest. We refer to vitamin D3, a vital isomer synthesized in the cell membrane of the epidermis and dermis as a response to solar radiation, as its other common form, D2, is derived from plants and is impossible for the human body to synthesize.
Our results suggest that, despite their youth, trainee basketball players have insufficient vitamin D levels. Since this deficiency appears to be common in elite athletes, especially those competing indoors, various means of controlling vitamin D levels throughout the season should be considered.
Furthermore, these deficiencies appear to be differentially associated with jumping performance in men and women. Thus, while performance in men does seem to be compromised by low levels of this vitamin, it would be interesting to further investigate the different role it might play in women, as vitamin D deficiency is not only related to rate of force development. "