Good old Vitamin D is not only good for your heath but it’s also helps with muscle size, strength and burning body fat!
There are three reasons we’re taking a look at this little vitamin that packs a big punch!
Longevity, performance, and looking good naked.
Let's break those down:
The New England Journal of Medicine recently warned that the number of diseases associated with vitamin D deficiency is growing. And who's deficient? Most people, the studies seem to be saying, including otherwise nutrition-conscious athletes and gym rats.
In one mind-blowing study (Melamed, et al.) using population data, researchers found that total mortality was 26% higher in those with the lowest 25(OH)D levels compared with the highest. And a meta-analysis of 18 randomized controlled trials found that supplemental vitamin D significantly reduced total mortality. That means quite simply this: vitamin D supplementation prolongs life.
Here are just a handful of examples:
• According to the Vitamin D Council, current research has implicated vitamin D deficiency as a major factor in the pathology of at least 17 varieties of cancer.
• Vitamin D may protect against both Type I and Type II diabetes.
• Low D may contribute to chronic fatigue, depression, and Seasonal Affective Disorder.
• Parkinson's and Alzheimer's sufferers have been found to have lower levels of D.
• Low levels of vitamin D may contribute to "Syndrome X" with associated hypertension, obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
• Administration of dietary vitamin D has been shown to lower blood pressure and restore insulin sensitivity.
This section could go on endlessly, so let's just say this: If you care about living a good long life, then Vitamin D looks like it could certainly help with that goal.
Studies on Vitamin D, sunlight, and performance go back for decades. Russian studies in the 1930's showed that 100M dash times improved in irradiated athletes vs. non-irradiated athletes undergoing the same training (7.4% improvement vs. 1.4%).
German studies in the 1940's showed that irradiation lead to a 13% improvement in performance on the bike ergometer vs. no improvement in the control group.
In the 1950's researchers saw a "convincing effect" on athletic performance after treating athletes at the Sports College of Cologne. Findings were so convincing that they notified the Olympic Committee.
At one point, even school children were irradiated and given large doses of Vitamin D in 1952 Germany. Treated children showed dramatic increases in overall fitness and cardiovascular performance. UV radiation was also shown to improve reaction times by 17% in a 1956 study.
In the 1960s, a group of American college women were treated with a single dose of ultraviolet irradiation. The results: improvements in strength, speed, and endurance.
Other studies showed "distinct seasonal variation" in the trainability of musculature. Basically, athletes performed better and got stronger in the late summer due to their greater exposure to the sun and subsequent Vitamin D production.
Vitamin D has also been shown to act directly on muscle to increase protein synthesis. Deficient subjects administered Vitamin D showed improvement in muscle protein anabolism and an increase in muscle mass.
Improvements in neuromuscular functioning have also been seen. People with higher levels of Vitamin D generally have better reaction time and balance.
3) Looking Good Naked
If Vitamin D does indeed improve the effects of training and helps to stave off various illnesses, then it's easy to see how this can translate into an improved aesthetic: you're healthier, you feel better, you get more out of your training, and you end up looking better when you make sexy-time. But there could be a more direct effect as well.
Dr. Shalamar Sibley's new research shows that adding Vitamin D to a reduced-calorie diet may lead to better, faster weight loss. Not only did she find that excess body fat came off faster when plenty of D3 was present, but it also came off the abdominal area.
The icing on the cake? The same D-supplemented subjects retained muscle mass while losing the fat.
In other studies, subjects receiving Vitamin D therapy lost weight, lost their sugar cravings, and saw normalization in blood sugar levels.
The Take Home Message
Take your Vitamin D3 pills! :)
Suggestion: Try to get 2000 IU - 5000 IU of Vitamin D3 per day.