The effect of body composition and BMI on 25(OH)D response in vitamin D-supplemented athletes

Evan P. Cassity, Maja Redzic, Cassidy R. Teager, D. Travis Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Fat mass is inversely associated with vitamin D status, and athletes with the most adipose tissue may have the greatest risk for insufficient (25(OH)D 20–32 ng mL−1) or deficient (25(OH)D < 20 ng ml−1) status. The effects of fat and lean mass on 25(OH)D change in response to vitamin D supplementation have yet to be elucidated in athletes. In addition, vitamin D has a known role in bone health yet a link between short-term changes in 25(OH)D and bone turnover in indoor athletes have not yet been described. Thirty-two collegiate swimmers and divers (19 male, 13 female; 19 (1) years) participated in a 6-month randomized controlled trial and consumed either 4000 IU d−1 of vitamin D3 (n = 19) or placebo (PLA; n = 13). Anthropometry and blood collection of 25(OH)D, bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (B-ALP) and N-terminal telopeptide (NTx) occurred at three time points. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry measured body composition analysis at baseline and endpoint. In the vitamin D group, BMI was negatively correlated with 6-month 25(OH)D change (R = −0.496; P =.03) and a stronger predictor of 25(OH)D change (P =.04) than ultraviolet B exposure and fat mass change. Athletes in the high bone turnover group showed significantly greater losses of 25(OH)D over 6-months compared to athletes in the low bone turnover group (P =.03). These results suggest athletes within the normal BMI category experience a diminished response to 4000 IU d−1 of vitamin D3 supplementation, and periods of high bone turnover may be an additional risk factor for developing compromised vitamin D status in athletes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)773-779
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Sport Science
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 European College of Sport Science.


  • BMI
  • Bone turnover
  • fat mass
  • swimmer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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