Objective: Vitamin D plays an important role in calcium and bone metabolism. In Australia it has been assumed that all young athletes have good vitamin D levels. A survey of females in an elite gymnastics program was undertaken to determine their vitamin D and dietary calcium status.
Design: Cross-sectional survey.
Setting: Females in an elite gymnastics program at the Australian Institute of Sport.
Participants and outcome measures: Eighteen female gymnasts aged 10-17 years were assessed for vitamin D status (serum 25[OH]D) and dietary calcium intake.
Results: Fifteen were found to have levels below current recommended guidelines for optimal bone health (<75 nmol/L). Six had vitamin D levels below 50 nmol/L. Thirteen of the gymnasts also had daily dietary calcium intakes below the daily recommended intake for their age.
Conclusions: Gymnasts and possibly other indoor athletes should be carefully reviewed for vitamin D and calcium status.