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Vitamin D Status of Females in an Elite Gymnastics Program

Lovell, Greg MD, MBBS

Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine: March 2008 - Volume 18 - Issue 2 - p 159-161
doi: 10.1097/JSM.0b013e3181650eee
Brief Report

Objective: Vitamin D plays an important role in calcium and bone metabolism. In Australia it has been assumed that all young athletes have good vitamin D levels. A survey of females in an elite gymnastics program was undertaken to determine their vitamin D and dietary calcium status.

Design: Cross-sectional survey.

Setting: Females in an elite gymnastics program at the Australian Institute of Sport.

Participants and Outcome Measures: Eighteen female gymnasts aged 10-17 years were assessed for vitamin D status (serum 25[OH]D) and dietary calcium intake.

Results: Fifteen were found to have levels below current recommended guidelines for optimal bone health (<75 nmol/L). Six had vitamin D levels below 50 nmol/L. Thirteen of the gymnasts also had daily dietary calcium intakes below the daily recommended intake for their age.

Conclusions: Gymnasts and possibly other indoor athletes should be carefully reviewed for vitamin D and calcium status.

From the Department of Sports Medicine, Australian Institute of Sport, Bruce, Australian Capital Territory, Australia.

Submitted for publication June 13, 2007; accepted December 7, 2007.

Reprints: Greg Lovell, MD, MBBS, Department of Sports Medicine, Australian Institute of Sport, Leverrier Cres, Bruce, ACT, Australia 2617 (e-mail:

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.