Vitamin D may indeed help the U.S. dominate the next summer Olympics. So says an online article at http://www.postchronicle.com/news/original/article_212229302.shtml
The article cites a new scientific paper, of which I was a coauthor(1), that presents compelling evidence that optimal vitamin D levels, produced by exposure to sunlight or sunlamps, dramatically improves strength, reaction time and endurance while profoundly reducing athletic injuries. It also increases the number and size of fast-twitch muscle fibers.
Most athletes, particularly winter athletes, are very low in vitamin D levels. When there is a correction of that deficiency, performance improves and injuries subside.
I have tried to get this information to the Utah Jazz for more than two years, but have not been able to get an appointment. The Jazz had more injuries than any team I have ever seen and still managed to make the playoffs. Their coaching is superb; no one is better than Jerry Sloan. But their listless play on the road and their incredible injury count screams that the team is vitamin D deficient. So, we might also have a headline that says, "Vitamin D may help the Utah Jazz (or some other struggling team) win the NBA championship in 2010." I will continue to try to find a team that will listen. Interested parties may contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. John Cannell (the lead author of the paper) and I have nearly finished a book entitled "Quicker, Stronger, Faster with vitamin D." It will expatiate on the materials in the paper and furnish additional information.
In the meantime, all of you who are athletes should have your vitamin D levels assessed. If you are deficient, a bit more sunshine and vitamin D may just help you win your next competition.
(1) Cannell JJ, Hollis BW, Sorenson MB, Taft TN, Anderson JJ. Athletic Performance and Vitamin D. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2009 Apr 3. [Epub ahead of print]