Vitamin D for bodybuilders
Vitamin D is a member of the fat-soluble vitamins. Vitamin D is actually not essential in the sense that the body can produce it given adequate exposure to the sun. Vitamin D is actually a member of the steroid hormone family of hormones and acts through the vitamin D receptor to promote cell differentiation. Traditionally, vitamin D’s role has been in the formation and maintenance of bone and blood calcium levels. In more recent years, it has been discovered that vitamin D has many different roles in the body including stimulating the immune system and as an anti-tumor agent. If the body does not produce enough vitamin D from exposure to the sun, then adequate quantities must be consumed in the diet. Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency include faulty calcification, protruding abdomen, muscle spasms and decay-prone teeth. Rickets is the condition that results from prolonged deficiency of vitamin D. Fortified milk, egg yolks, fatty fish and butter are sources of vitamin D in the diet. As a fat-soluble diet, absorption of vitamin D must be accompanied by dietary fat. Very low fat diets can result in fat-soluble vitamin deficiencies. Also, since vitamin D can be stored in the body it can reach toxic levels if too much is consumed. Toxicity results in a condition known as hypervitaminosis D and is associated with symptoms such as increased calcium and phosphorus in the blood, loss of appetite, headache, weakness, fatigue, excessive thirst and calcification of soft tissues.
Vitamin D and Testosterone
A recent paper has shown that Vitamin D levels are important for testosterone and may actually boost testosterone. Australian researchers examined the blood of 2300 men whose average age was just over sixty. Only eleven percent of them had sufficient vitamin D in their blood. And indeed: the more vitamin D the men had in their blood, the higher their testosterone levels and their concentration of free testosterone. This may not be exactly the same as supplementing Vitamin D in healthy young men who are seeking to raise testosterone, but it is an indicator of how vitamin and vitamin precursors can effect testosterone levels.