HealthDay News — Serum vitamin D levels are associated with cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), according to a study recently published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

Amr Marawan, MD, from the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine in Richmond, and colleagues used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2001-2004) to assess the association between vitamin D levels and CRF. Their analysis included 1995 participants aged 20 to 49 years. They excluded individuals with vitamin D levels at the 5% extremes of the distribution and used maximal oxygen consumption (VO2 max) as a surrogate for CRF. 

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The researchers found that participants in the highest quartile of vitamin D levels had significantly higher CRF than participants in the lowest quartile (difference, 4.3). After adjustment for potential confounders, participants in the highest quartile still had significantly higher CRF than those in the lowest quartile (difference, 2.9). For each 10-nmol/L increase in vitamin D level, there was a significant increase in VO2 max.

“We found an independent and robust association between serum vitamin D levels and CRF, but our results need to be validated with clinical trials examining the effect of vitamin D supplementation on CRF,” the authors write.

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