Vitamin D status of females in an elite gymnastics program

Clin J Sport Med. 2008 Mar;18(2):159-61. doi: 10.1097/JSM.0b013e3181650eee.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Australia
  • Calcium, Dietary
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet Surveys
  • Female
  • Fractures, Stress / physiopathology
  • Fractures, Stress / prevention & control
  • Gymnastics / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Nutritional Status
  • Vitamin D / blood*


  • Calcium, Dietary
  • Vitamin D