Real Deal on Vitamin D for Building Muscle

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What’s with all the Hype on Vitamin D?
It’s not hype….it’s the real deal

by: Joe Palumbo, IFBB Pro

Vitamin D is the new-fangled nutrient of the decade, and the steady stream of headlines dedicated to it has some people popping this supplement like candy.

“The Relationship Between Vitamin D and Insulin Resistance.”

“Raising Your Vitamin D Level to 40 ng/ml May Slash Your Cancer Risk by 67 Percent.”

“UV Light Provides a Multitude of Health Benefits.”

“New Discoveries May Unlock the Link Between Vitamin D Deficiency and Autism.”

“Health Conditions in Which Vitamin D Plays an Important Role.”

As you can see there is an abundance of information available, however, checking for vitamin D levels is still not standard of care for many physicians, you will realize from reading this article that assessing vitamin D status is one of the most important health-protecting steps you can take. Fortunately, achieving optimal levels of this vitamin is easy, inexpensive, and highly protective against a range of lethal diseases.

Vitamin D deficiency is linked to multiple diseases including psoriasis, chronic kidney disease, diabetes mellitus, asthma, periodontal disease, cardiovascular disease, schizophrenia, depression, and cancer. Researchers have shown a correlation between vitamin D deficiency and a higher rate of obstructive sleep apnea. Additionally, this deficiency is relatively common in athletes and is associated with muscle weakness and atrophy. Skipping out on this vitamin is just as bad as skipping out on leg day.

Building MusclesFiguring out all the factors that affect your vitamin D level is complicated. Your body makes vitamin D when sunlight hits the skin. You can also get the vitamin from food, however; few foods are natural sources. In addition, people with acute or chronic illnesses often have inflammation, which may cause a decline in D levels. Sunscreen prevents sunburn by blocking UVB light. Theoretically, that means sunscreen use lowers vitamin levels. Skin color affects the amount of vitamin D absorbed; as a result, dark-skinned people tend to require more UVB exposure than light-skinned people. Body Weight, fat soaks up vitamin D, Doctors already knew overweight people had a higher risk of being D-deficient, in part because fat tissue traps this important nutrient and keeps it out of your bloodstream. Now, researchers have found extra pounds may impair your body’s ability to use the vitamin as well.

Most of us are aware of the need for vitamin D for maintaining healthy bones. Just a few years ago, vitamin D was simply known as the “bone vitamin.” New Studies have shown just how vital it is for our body. Once it has been ingested in the diet or produced in the skin, the liver and kidneys convert it to its active form, called 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, or vitamin D3.

Virtually every tissue type in your body has receptors for vitamin D, meaning that they all require it for adequate functioning. The very presence of specific receptors defines the vitamin as a hormone, rather than a vitamin. It interacts with receptors throughout the body and has a number of different effects.

It’s becoming evident that higher doses of vitamin D are required to support its other activities in tissues such as heart muscle, brain cells, and fat tissue, to name just a few. Additionally, it regulates genes that control cell growth and development, immune function, and metabolic control.

calorie restriction, thyroid, infinite_labs,Building MusclesThe symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency in adults include general tiredness, aches, and pains, and a general sense of not feeling well.  Severe bone or muscle pain or weakness that may cause difficulty climbing stairs or getting up from the floor or a low chair, or cause the person to walk with a waddling gait, stress fractures, especially in the legs, pelvis, and hips. If you’re diagnosed with a vitamin D deficiency, your doctor will likely recommend you take daily supplements to increase your vitamin and mineral levels.

The report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) increased the Recommended Daily Allowance for Vitamin D.

Fact Sheet for Health Professionals

Age Male Female Pregnancy Lactation
0–12 months* 400 IU
(10 mcg)
400 IU
(10 mcg)
1–13 years 600 IU
(15 mcg)
600 IU
(15 mcg)
14–18 years 600 IU
(15 mcg)
600 IU
(15 mcg)
600 IU
(15 mcg)
600 IU
(15 mcg)
19–50 years 600 IU
(15 mcg)
600 IU
(15 mcg)
600 IU
(15 mcg)
600 IU
(15 mcg)
51–70 years 600 IU
(15 mcg)
600 IU
(15 mcg)
>70 years 800 IU
(20 mcg)
800 IU
(20 mcg)

Train Hard and Eat Smart #BESAFE

Joseph Palumbo

jOEFLAGIFBB Professional Bodybuilder
Director of Physical Performance Infinite Labs Orlando FL
Certified Trainer
Advance Sports Nutrition Specialist  (ASNS)
Certified Navy Seal Fitness Instructor
Freelance writer: Workouts and Training Techniques, Strength Training and Conditioning, General Fitness, Weight Loss and Nutritional Needs