It is widely known that vitamin D is crucial in early years of life for proper bone development, but a new study sheds light on benefits that come later in life as well.
The results – to be published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism – emphasize the link between vitamin D levels and muscle power in adolescent girls.
"We know [that] vitamin D deficiency can weaken the muscular and skeletal systems, but until now, little was known about the relationship of vitamin D with muscle power and force," says Dr Kate Ward of the University of Manchester in the UK, the lead author of the study.
She adds, "Our study found that vitamin D is positively related to muscle power, force, velocity and jump height in adolescent girls."
The researchers looked at physical performance of 99 girls in the 12 to 14-year-old age bracket and found that those with higher levels of vitamin D performed significantly better.
According to the Endocrine Society, vitamin D deficiency is common in the United States and has been linked to significant health problems, including higher risk of rickets in children and osteoporosis in adults.