Association of vitamin D and iron status with injury risk, health and physical performance in British army recruits

Jackson, Sarah (2018) Association of vitamin D and iron status with injury risk, health and physical performance in British army recruits. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

[img] PDF
Restricted to Repository staff only

Download (3MB) | Request a copy
[img] PDF
Restricted to Repository staff only

Download (8MB) | Request a copy

Abstract

The influence of vitamin D and iron status on health and physical performance, was studied in a cohort of 1658 male and 554 female British Army recruits, to understand whether iron and vitamin D supplementation could reduce attrition due to injury or poor physical performance in basic military training.. The study hypothesised that recruits with poorer vitamin D and iron status would be more likely to have adverse health outcomes and inferior physical performance compared to those who were vitamin D and iron replete. Measurements, obtained in week 1 of training included: self-reported lifestyle, diet and demographics; biochemical markers of vitamin D and iron status, SNPs of the vitamin D pathway; physical performance (1.5-mile best effort run, leg peak power and maximal dynamic lift); and, height, body mass, and body composition measured by DXA. In a subgroup, measurements were repeated in week 14 of training and in addition sunlight exposure was assessed using polysulfone badges.

The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency (25(OH)D<30nmolL-1) was higher than the background population in the winter, affecting more men than women. Physical performance correlated negatively with 1,25(OH)2D, and positively with 25(OH)D and 24,25(OH)2D. 1,25(OH)2D was higher and 24,25(OH)2D lower in males with bone stress injuries.1,25(OH)2D:24,25(OH)2D ratio significantly predicted the occurrence of these injuries in males and females.

The prevalence of clinical iron deficiency, was low at the start of training, however, the prevalence of subclinical iron deficiency,was higher and deteriorated significantly during training particularly in females. Poor iron status was associated with decreased physical performance, and increased risk of respiratory tract infections in women. Taking B12 supplements was a significant predictor of iron status.

These findings show that poor vitamin D and iron status in recruitswas associated with adverse health and performance outcomes, indicating that supplementation may have a role in reducing attrition in training.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
Depositing User: Gillian Aldus
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2019 11:47
Last Modified: 07 Jun 2019 11:47
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/71268
DOI:

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item