The Chicago Blackhawks are the First Vitamin D Team in Modern Professional Sports History

The Chicago Blackhawks are the First Vitamin D Team in Modern Professional Sports History

The Chicago Blackhawk team physicians began diagnosing and treating vitamin D deficiency in all Blackhawk players about 18 months ago.

After many losing seasons, last year the Blackhawks came out of nowhere to get to the Western conference finals. This year the Blackhawks are playing even better.

Improved athletic performance is only one of the benefits for the Blackhawk players. There was also a reduction in the number and severity of lower respiratory tract infections and a reduction in the number and severity of repetitive use injuries.

Six months ago, Runner’s World published a story on vitamin D and athletic performance.

Asp K. Running on D: The “sun vitamin” may boost performance, but you probably aren’t getting enough. Runners World, December 2009.

A year ago, the flagship journal of the American College of Sports Medicine published the evidence that vitamin D would improve athletic performance, including evidence vitamin D played a role in the USSR and East Germany domination of the Olympics in the 1960s, 70s, and early 80s.

Cannell JJ, Hollis BW, Sorenson MB, Taft TN, Anderson JJ. Athletic performance and vitamin D. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2009 May;41(5):1102-10.

Recently, researchers in England found a direct and strong relationship between muscle power and vitamin D levels in teenage girls.

Ward KA, et al. Vitamin D status and muscle function in post-menarchal adolescent girls. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2009 Feb;94(2):559-63.

However, readers of the Vitamin D Council’s newsletter first learned about vitamin D and athletic performance in 2007:

Cannell, JJ. Peak Athletic Performance and Vitamin D. Vitamin D Council Newsletter, March 2007.

If the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup this year, other teams, from high school to professional, may start paying attention to the vitamin D status of their players. That would be a big boost to the Vitamin D Council’s goal of educating the world about the importance of vitamin D.

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