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Risk/caution of vitamin D insufficiency for quarantined athletes returning to play after COVID-19
  1. Yoshitomo Saita1,2
  1. 1 Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, Juntendo University, Tokyo, Japan
  2. 2 Medical Department, Iwaki Sports Club, Iwaki, Japan
  1. Correspondence to Yoshitomo Saita; ysaita{at}

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With the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, athletes have been restricted from outdoor training. This has affected the nutritional status of athletes in various ways, especially with regard to their vitamin D status/level, which is produced in response to sun exposure. Vitamin D is essential for maintaining bone mass, muscle strength and physical performance. It likewise plays multiple other roles in the body, such as helping in calcium absorption and supporting the immune system.1 Therefore, sufficient vitamin D is indispensable not only for keeping healthy musculoskeletal conditions, but also for improving immune response, especially amidst the COVID-19 outbreak.

Insufficient vitamin D is known as a risk factor for developing stress fractures in military personnel and athletes; low level of vitamin D is also associated with the incidence of muscle injuries. Winter sports athletes have a greater chance of experiencing vitamin D insufficiency as compared to those engaged in spring sports. There is a high prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency among these athletes even in regular situations, resulting in higher risk of stress fractures, illnesses and delayed muscle recovery.2

Serum concentration of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OHD) is the best indicator of vitamin …

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