Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Perm J


Athletes/statistics & numerical data; Athletic Performance/physiology; Humans; Muscle, Skeletal/physiopathology; Vitamin D Deficiency/complications; Vitamin D Deficiency/epidemiology; Vitamin D Deficiency/physiopathology


Vitamin D is a lipophilic prohormone integral to musculoskeletal, autoimmune, oncologic, cardiovascular, and mental health. Of particular importance to the orthopedic surgeon is the role of vitamin D in the regulation of bone mass, muscle strength, and physical performance. Although vitamin D-related skeletal pathologies are rare in industrialized nations, emerging research in the field has shown that most American adults have inadequate levels of vitamin D. Even among athletes, there is a high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency, which may place competitors at risk of stress fractures, illness, and delayed muscle recovery. Adequately identifying vitamin D-deficient individuals in need of supplementation is important to help optimize performance and prevent future injury. The goal of this review is to describe the epidemiology of vitamin D deficiency and its effects on athletic performance and musculoskeletal health. Future double-blinded studies of vitamin D supplementation in athletes are needed. We recommend treating athletes who have insufficient or deficient vitamin D levels.

Clinical Institute

Orthopedics & Sports Medicine


Sports Medicine