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Vitamin D: An essential nutrient that can increase muscle strength

Vitamin D: An essential nutrient that can increase muscle strength

First identified as a vitamin early in the 20th century and now consumed as an essential dietary supplement; the properties of Vitamin D have multiple benefits for good health.

Are you getting enough of this essential nutrient?

Known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’, one of the main sources of Vitamin D comes from the sun. As UVB rays hit the cholesterol in our skin cells, the energy for Vitamin D synthesis is naturally generated. 

Playing an important role in helping to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body, this incredible ingredient helps to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy. A lack of Vitamin D can unfortunately lead to several bone deformities such as rickets in children and Osteomalacia in adults - a condition resulting in severe bone pain.

Did you know that people with darker skins tones and higher amounts of Melanin in their skins can need up to 6 times more sunlight to get their required amounts of Vitamin D? Those with a greater Vitamin D deficiency actually need up to 10 – 12 times more sunlight than the average person!

Unlike most sources of Vitamin D, our's is Vegan

Most Vitamin D supplements come from a type of grease called wool yolk, which is made by wool-bearing animals. This essential nutrient can also be found organically in a few foods like fatty fish (for example, cod liver oil) and egg yolks.

For those following a Vegan diet, finding a reliable source of Vitamin D can therefore prove rather difficult. At Nourished, our Vegan Vita-algae D3™ offers a reliable Vegan source of this essential nutrient. We source ours from a mixture of algae and lichen fungus species which grow in the northern most parts of Canada. You can take a look at our Vita-algae D3 here.

New Government advice from Public Health England recommends taking Vitamin D supplements

Due to our Nation’s current lifestyle during lockdown, our UK Government has recently advised that people could be depriving their body of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin D. With 80% of our Vitamin D coming from sunlight, our body's may not be producing enough Vitamin D due to current isolation measures. Therefore, Public Health England has advised daily supplementation to help support healthy bones, teeth and muscles.

As it is difficult for most people to get the recommended amount of Vitamin D from food alone, supplementing this essential nutrient is advised. At Nourished, we recommend a healthy balanced diet combined with our Vegan Vita-algae D3™ as one of the layers in your stack, in order to meet the recommended daily intake of Vitamin D.

All of our ingredients at Nourished are consumed in a gummy stack, meaning they have a much higher absorption rate than standard isolated tablets, so you can have confidence in ensuring you get your recommended daily intake.

The effects of Vitamin D supplementation on muscle strength

This incredible nutrient has several attributes, with its most intriguing being the impact it has on muscle strength. In 2017, a test was conducted to identify the effects supplementing Vitamin D has on muscle strength in athletes.

The main aim was to identify randomised controlled trials (RCT’s) of healthy athletes, in which a Vitamin D supplement was used. Varying the dosage from 400-8,500 IU per day, athletic participants aged 18-45 years were then studied from 6 weeks, to 4 months. To determine success rates of the effects of Vitamin D on muscle strength, the maximum amount of weight that can be lifted once for a specific exercise was measured in order to evaluate the strength of test subjects.

The PEDro scale

Used to measure the quality of studies, PEDro, or the Physiotherapy Evidence Database, is used to identify success measures of trials. PEDro was used during this test to gather sufficient, statistical information. The PEDro score ranges from 0 to 11. If a study receives a score between 9 and 11 is regarded as excellent, from 6 to 8 is good, between 4 and 5 is fair, and any study graded less than 4 is considered a study of poor quality.

In conclusion

Referring to the PEDro scale, five of the 6 studies were considered “excellent,” and 1 study was considered “good.” In fact, two studies reported significant improvements in the muscular strength outcome using Vitamin D3.

In conclusion, it was determined that this essential nutrient can help support and improve the parameters of muscle function. Impressively, all of the participants of this study where vitamin D3 was administered saw a significant increase for improved muscle strength. As the parameter for success looked to the maximum amount of weight that can be lifted by each test subject, participants saw an increase as high as 8%, with bench presses increasing by up to 9.0 kg!

A Multi-functioning Vitamin

Amongst the key attributes of Vitamin D, there are a handful of surprising additional benefits of this essential nutrient. Studies have shown how its incredible properties can help support;
• Immune, brain, and nervous system health
• Regulating insulin levels and supporting diabetes management
• Lung function and cardiovascular health
• Regulating moods and reducing the symptoms of depression
• Supporting weight loss

With a combination of extensive scientific research and recent advice from our UK Government to help keep healthy bones, teeth and muscles; Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for good overall health. Include our Vegan Vita-algae D3™ in your own personalised stack by creating your own blend in the lab.


Reference

Chiang CM1, Ismaeel A, Griffis RB, Weems S. Effects of Vitamin D Supplementation on Muscle Strength in Athletes: A Systematic Review.  Departments of 1Nutrition Sciences; and 2English, Baylor University, Waco, Texas. 2017 Feb 

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