Relation of Vitamin D Level to Maximal Oxygen Uptake in Adults

Published:February 25, 2011DOI:
      Low cardiorespiratory fitness and low serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D (25[OH]D) levels are associated with increased cardiovascular and all-cause mortality, but whether low 25(OH)D is independently associated with cardiorespiratory fitness in healthy adults is not known. We examined 25(OH)D levels and fitness in 200 healthy adults participating in a double-blind clinical trial investigating statins and muscle performance (STOMP study). Maximal aerobic exercise capacity (Vo2max) was measured using metabolic gas analysis during graded treadmill exercise to exhaustion. 25(OH)D was measured using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Daily physical activity was assessed using the Paffenbarger Physical Activity Questionnaire. Serum 25(OH)D concentration was positively related to Vo2max (r = 0.29, p = 0.0001), even after adjusting for relevant predictors (e.g., age, gender, and body mass index). There was also a significant interaction between 25(OH)D level and self-reported hours of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA; p <0.02). With each SD increase in 25(OH)D, Vo2max increased by 2.6 ml/kg/min (p = 0.0001) when MVPA was low (16 hours/week) and 1.6 ml/kg/min (p <0.0004) when MVPA was moderate (35 hours/week) but only 0.01 ml/kg/min (p = 0.9) when MVPA was high (64 hours/week). In conclusion, serum 25(OH)D levels predict Vo2max in adults; the effect is greatest in those with low levels of physical activity.
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