What is Vitamin D3?
There are two types of vitamin D, vitamin D3 and vitamin D2. Vitamin D3 is produced naturally in the skin when it is exposed to sunlight. Although classified as a vitamin, it actually transforms into a hormone within the body. In this form, it is circulated in the blood stream to help with the absorption of calcium and phosphorous received from digested food sources.
Vitamin D3 is often considered the more natural form to supplement as this form of the vitamin is naturally made by the human body whereas vitamin D2 is not. Vitamin D3 is generally thought to be the more effective option to supplement as well as having a longer shelf life.
Benefits of Supplementing vitamin D3 for Dancers
Almost 99% of your vitamin D supply is used for regulating the calcium in the body with the remaining part utilised for strengthening the immune system and maintaining muscle strength, all of which have benefits for dancers. Long hours training inside, especially in winter can lead to vitamin D deficiency due to a lack of sunlight. So why should dancers consider supplementing?
1. Almost 99% of your vitamin D supply is used for regulating calcium in the body. Calcium is used for building and strengthening teeth and bone mass and is vital for bone development and growth. It is important for dancers to have strong bones as this can reduce injury and improve performance.
2. Part of your vitamin D supply is used to strengthen the immune system, which may help to keep dancers healthy.
3. Part of your vitamin D supply is also used to maintain muscle strength. Vitamin D supplementation is thought to be beneficial with regards to the performance and strength of muscles.
The benefits of vitamin D3 have been acknowledged by the European Food Safety Authority for the maintenance of normal bones and muscle function vitamin D provide.
SunVit-D3 and One Dance UK
Sunvit-D3 supports One Dance UK’s Healthier Dancer Programme which works to improve the physical and psychological health and wellbeing of dancers. In support of this campaign Sunvit-D3 would like to offer clinical guidance to dancers on vitamin D supplementation. You can find out more about the campaign here.
Vitamin D3 research
Sunvit-D3 supported research by three of the founding partners of the National Institute of Dance Medicine and Science. The research was carried out by the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH), University of Wolverhampton and the Jerwood Centre at Birmingham Royal Ballet. In these study dancers who were given 2,000 IU of SunVit-D3® per day demonstrated increases in muscle strength and vertical jump performance. They also had less injuries compared to those who did not take supplements. Read more on the study here.
“Vitamin D is important for bone development and has a wide range of functions. In a deficient state, dancers are at increased risk of bone injuries and this latest research indicates an increased risk of muscle injury, which can be detrimental to their health and their careers”.
Dr Roger Wolman, Consultant in Rheumatology and Sport and Exercise Medicine at the RHOH.
“Traditionally dancers spend between six and eight hours training indoors for six days a week throughout the year and they need to be able to execute highly technical movements during high intensity periods of training and when performing. This study provides important advice on performance enhancement as well as offering vital insights into the overall health and wellbeing of dancers.”
Helen Laws, NIDMS Manager at One Dance UK.
The new recommended levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D can be reached by taking daily doses of vitamin D3 that are much higher than those normally found in common multivitamins and calcium supplements.
It’s recommended that one or two 1,000 IU SunVit-D3® tablets be taken a day in order to maintain these levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D. Once the right levels have been reached, the body will flush out any excess.
It is possible to take a higher dose than this, however we would strongly recommend seeking medical advice before any higher doses are taken. SunVit-D3® can be taken safely at the same time as other vitamin or calcium supplements also containing vitamin D. The safety of doses of vitamin D ranging from 1,000-8,000 IU per day has been documented.