Vitamin D and Calcium: Tips for Dancers

Adequate Vitamin D and calcium are crucial to maintain proper bone health. In the last decade, Vitamin D deficiency throughout the world has risen dramatically.

  • 77% of the population in the United States lack adequate levels of Vitamin D.
  • In 2010, a study of dancers from Israel found that 94% had low Vitamin D levels.

Vitamin D enables calcium to be absorbed in the gut, rather than the body taking the calcium from the bones, which in turn prevents osteopenia or osteoporosis.

Published in TaskForce on Dancer Health Informational Papers

Adequate Vitamin D and calcium are crucial to maintain proper bone health. In the last decade, Vitamin D deficiency throughout the world has risen dramatically.

  • 77% of the population in the United States lack adequate levels of Vitamin D.
  • In 2010, a study of dancers from Israel found that 94% had low Vitamin D levels.

Vitamin D enables calcium to be absorbed in the gut, rather than the body taking the calcium from the bones, which in turn prevents osteopenia or osteoporosis.

The primary source (90%) of vitamin D is from UVB rays from sun exposure. The amount of Vitamin D formation from the sun depends on the season, latitude, and skin color. Living closest to the equator allows for year-round Vitamin D production from the sun. However, as one progresses further from the equator, the UVB exposure diminishes during the winter months. Additionally, melanin blocks UVB light which diminishes Vitamin D production, so dancers with darker skin need longer sun exposure (up to 10 times as much) for adequate Vitamin D production. Furthermore, sun block or sunscreen with SPF greater than 8 also blocks UVB light preventing Vitamin D formation. …

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