Despite a wide number of studies performed on the general population, little is known about the Vitamin D status of athletes. A particular influence of many factors, including skin pigmentation, early- or late-day training, indoor training, geographic location and extensive sunscreen use, has been observed in this specific population. The need of supplementation with Vitamin Din athletes is not defined or, when supplementation is needed, even the optimal amount of Vitamin D to be used is not specified. The periodic measurement of Vitamin D is the only procedure capable to define athletes' status. Although various methods for the measurement of Vitamin D are routinely used, they often give discordant and poorly reproducible results; thus, it is necessary to standardize the various methods, in order to have comparable results. In conclusion, current available data indicate both that little is known about the Vitamin D status of athletes and that is still unclear if supplementation could be desirable. Finally, it must be pointed out that all the papers about Vitamin D status should indicate in detail the method used for really allowing a correct interpretation of data. (c) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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