Teenaged girls with higher levels of key nutrient Vitamin D may be able to jump higher and faster than their peers with lower levels, a study has shown.
Not only does vitamin D work with calcium to keep the bones strong, but researchers now have found that teenage girls with higher vitamin D levels are more likely to have improved muscle performance.
Researchers in Britain collected vitamin D levels for 99 girls, aged 12-14. To test muscle functions, the girls were instructed to jump as high as possible while researchers used a device called jumping mechanography designed to measure power and performance.
After controlling for differences in the girls' body weight, the girls with the highest vitamin D levels had the highest jump speed, jump height, power and force.
This potential muscle advantage adds to the growing list of evidence positioning vitamin D as a super nutrient. Well known for its role in keeping bones strong, vitamin D is now being hailed for much more.
The results were published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.
Emerging science suggests that vitamin D may also help protect against diabetes, hypertension, heart diseases and certain cancers.
It may also support a healthy immune system to ward off infections, and preliminary evidence suggests it may affect longevity, said the journal's release.