Screening, Assessment, and Treatment for Inadequate Vitamin D Status in Athletes: Development of a Policy for Virginia Tech Athletics

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Virginia Tech

In the general population, up to 77% of individuals have inadequate vitamin D concentrations. Athletes are not immune to this pandemic, as many have been identified as having insufficient or deficient 25(OH)D concentrations as well. Insufficient and deficient concentrations of 25(OH)D in athletes have been linked to development of stress fracture, soft tissue injury and upper respiratory tract infection (URTI). With the appropriate tools, sports medicine and sports nutrition practitioners can provide care for at-risk athletes and attenuate the financial, health and sport participation costs of vitamin D related illness and injury. Inconsistencies in the literature and a lack of universal recommendations make it challenging to develop department policies and protocols for athletic education tools. The purpose of this project was twofold: firstly, to create a vitamin D policy based on the literature that may be used by the Virginia Tech Athletic Department. Secondly, to evaluate current Virginia Tech Sports Medicine and Sports Nutrition vitamin D practices and tools to understand the costs and systems that may influence the adoption of the policy while also ensuring current practices and tools are up to date.