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Posted August 7, 2011: by Bill Sardi
With release of a report from the annual meeting of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, that low blood levels of vitamin D are more common among NFL football players who suffer muscle injuries, there is no better time to talk about vitamin D and sports with the release of Dr. John Cannell’s newest book, entitled ATHLETE’S EDGE: FASTER, QUICKER, STRONGER WITH VITAMIN D (www.vitamindsportsbook.com).
Readers will get the instant impression that this fully-illustrated 318-page book will make an impact, not just on individual athletes but also on entire sports the way performance-enhancing drugs did for baseball, but this time, it’s a natural (and legal) molecule that is involved.
There will be no athletic trainers smuggling vitamin D pills to their team players this time. The primary objective will be to achieve optimal performance on the field and avoid injury. From here on, no professional sports team will want to take the field without knowing its athletes have sufficient vitamin D levels. Vitamin D may literally become a “game changer” in professional and amateur sports.
Certainly, once armed with the knowledge inside Dr. Cannell’s text (i.e. how much D to take, how to test for blood levels), the way athlete’s train and prepare for any event will be changed forever. Training outdoors in sunny areas will be valued. In lieu of sunlight, vitamin D pills will be kept handy. This is simply because vitamin D is now recognized as a muscle-toning vitamin.
Certainly sports that are scheduled in winter months (football), or indoors (basketball, ice hockey), as well as teams that are located in northern latitudes where sunlight is at a seasonal minimum, will be expected to benefit the most from maintaining optimal vitamin D levels.
There is talk that screening for vitamin D levels may soon become a standard practice in professional sports if for nothing else than preventing avoidable injuries.
Dr. Cannell is the change-agent who founded the Vitamin D Council (www.vitamindcouncil.com) to make this life-changing vitamin a cause worth joining. After all, a recent study says vitamin D is the most economical way to decrease global mortality rates since this sunshine vitamin protects against infectious as well as age-related diseases.
When penicillin was first introduced it was called a “magic bullet,” and vitamin D goes far beyond that mainstay drug. The rub is that it was first discovered in 1922 and it has taken over eight decades to be rediscovered.
Actually, vitamin D is a sun-produced hormone, naturally produced in the skin and stored in the liver. As a dietary supplement it represents sunlight in a bottle. According to a recent report in Nature magazine, sales of vitamin D have zoomed in recent years, from $40 million in 2001 to $425 million in 2009.
But wait till zealous athletes find out how to make this vitamin work to improve their performance. Athletes alone would be expected to purchase a few billion dollars of this sunshine vitamin annually.
Dr. Cannell reveals how East German athletic trainers first utilized sun lamps to improve the performance of their athletes in international competition, but kept it as sort of a trade secret. But, as Dr. Cannell points out, the Greeks, who were the originators of the modern Olympics, had their athletes performing outdoors, san clothing, and may have been the first to recognize the link between sunlight and physical performance.
While Dr. Cannell’s book goes far beyond advice for athletes (it’s a book for every home health library), athletes are expected to rush to read the book ahead of their opponents, to see if it gives them a winning edge. One vitamin shop in Redwood City, California, Apple Health Foods, offered to buy up the entire first printing of the book.
The shocker coming out of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine is that 80% of NFL football players were found have low levels of vitamin D and players who suffered muscle injuries had the lowest levels. African American football players were typically at the bottom vitamin D levels because they simply don’t make as much vitamin D as Caucasian players when exposed to the same amount of sunlight. Only 17 of 89 NFL football players tested had what are considered normal vitamin D levels.
The National Library of Medicine lists hundreds of recent reports showing the widespread application of vitamin D for diseases such as multiple sclerosis, heart failure, sepsis in hospitals, winter-time mental depression, even the common cold. But it’s athletes who are expected to be the early adopters once they discover the power of vitamin D for athletic performance.
With vitamin D will golfers drive their off the tee further down the fairway? Will football quarterbacks throw the ball deeper downfield? Or better yet, will our favorite player stay out of the training room and on the field? Stay tuned. Best to snatch a copy of Dr. Cannell’s book before it has to go into its second printing and is temporarily out of stock. ####
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