Washington: Did you know? Vitamin D levels in the blood are linked to your exercise capacity.
It is well established that vitamin D is important for healthy bones, but there is increasing evidence that it plays a role in other areas of the body, including the heart and muscles, as per the findings of a study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.
"Our study shows that higher levels of vitamin D are associated with better capacity," said Dr Amr Marawan of Virginia Commonwealth University, United States. "We also know from previous research that vitamin D has positive effects on the heart and bones. Make sure your vitamin D levels are normal to high. You can do this with diet, supplements, and a sensible amount of sun exposure."
Cardiorespiratory fitness, a reliable surrogate for physical fitness, is the ability of the heart and lungs to supply oxygen to the muscles during . It is best measured as the maximal oxygen consumption during , referred to as VO2 max. People with higher fitness are healthier and live longer.
This study investigated whether people with higher levels of vitamin D in the blood have improved fitness.
Dr Marawan said: "The relationship between higher vitamin D levels and better capacity holds in men and women, across the young and middle age groups, across ethnicities, regardless of body mass index or smoking status, and whether or not participants have hypertension or diabetes."
Dr Marawan noted that this was an observational study and it cannot be concluded that vitamin D improves capacity.
But, he added: "The association was strong, incremental, and consistent across groups. This suggests that there is a robust connection and provides further impetus for having adequate vitamin D levels, which is particularly challenging in cold, cloudy places where people are less exposed to the sun.