The influence of winter vitamin D supplementation on muscle function and injury occurrence in elite ballet dancers: a controlled study

J Sci Med Sport. 2014 Jan;17(1):8-12. doi: 10.1016/j.jsams.2013.03.007. Epub 2013 Apr 23.


Objectives: Athletes who train indoors during the winter months exhibit low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] concentrations due to a lack of sunlight exposure. This has been linked to impaired exercise performance. The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of oral vitamin D₃ supplementation on selected physical fitness and injury parameters in elite ballet dancers.

Design: Controlled prospective study.

Methods: 24 elite classical ballet dancers (intervention n=17; control n=7) participated in a controlled 4-month oral supplementation of vitamin D₃ (2000 IU per day). Isometric muscular strength and vertical jump height were measured pre and post intervention. Injury occurrence during the intervention period was also recorded by the in-house medical team. Repeated measures ANOVA and Mann-Whitney-U statistical tests were used and significance was set at p ≤ 0.05.

Results: Significant increases were noted for the intervention group for isometric strength (18.7%, p<0.01) and vertical jump (7.1%, p<0.01). The intervention group also sustained significantly less injuries than the controls during the study period (p<0.01).

Conclusions: Oral supplementation of vitamin D₃ during the winter months has beneficial effects on muscular performance and injury occurrence in elite ballet dancers.

Keywords: Ballet; Injury; Isometric strength; Vertical jump; Vitamin D.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Athletic Injuries / prevention & control*
  • Cholecalciferol / pharmacology
  • Cholecalciferol / therapeutic use*
  • Dancing*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Strength / drug effects*
  • Seasons
  • Vitamins / pharmacology
  • Vitamins / therapeutic use*
  • Young Adult


  • Vitamins
  • Cholecalciferol