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Sunday, December 31, 2006

Poor Athletic Performance Linked To Vitamin Deficiency

Science Daily — Active individuals lacking in B-vitamins -- including college athletes and other elite competitors -- may perform worse during high-intensity exercise and have a decreased ability to repair and build muscle than counterparts with nutrient-rich diets, according to recent Oregon State University research published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism.

The B-vitamins include thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, B-12 and folate. These micronutrients are necessary during the body's process for converting proteins and sugars into energy, and are used during the production and repair of cells, including red blood cells.

For active individuals a marginal deficiency in the nutrients may impact the body's ability to repair itself, operate efficiently and fight disease, said Melinda Manore, researcher in the Colleges of Agricultural and Health and Human Sciences. Manore analyzed the athletic performance of several elite and collegiate athletes in her research, as well as less competitive individuals.

The stress on the body's energy producing pathways during exercise, the changes in the body's tissues resulting from training, an increase in the loss of nutrients in sweat, urine and feces during and after strenuous activity and the additional nutrients needed to repair and maintain higher levels of lean tissue mass present in some athletes and individuals may all affect an individuals B-vitamin requirements, said Manore.

"Many athletes, especially young athletes involved in highly competitive sports, do not realize the impact their diets have on their performance," said Manore, who is also an Extension Service nutrition scientist. "By the time they reach adulthood they can have seriously jeopardized their abilities and their long-term health."

Current national B-vitamin recommendations for active individuals may be inadequate, and athletes who follow the recommended daily allowances set by the U.S. government may be receiving lower amounts of nutrients than there bodies need, said Manore.
Gary Moller comments:
The B group of vitamins is especially important for any person who is under stress, be that physical or emotional - which probably applies to 99% of the population! Stress not only steps up the body's need for these vitamins, it also chews through them at a higher rate. While a wholesome diet will supply the RDA (recommended daily allowance) this is not the case when the body is under constant stress.

Stress also chews through magnesium. Organs, like the adrenals, require ample magnesium, as well as the B vitamins, to function poperly.

Let me tell you about Beriberi. Beriberi is a third World disease, causing paralysis and heart failure. It is unheard of in a well-nourished country like New Zealand (Last seen on the sailing ships that carried explorers to this far-flung land 150+ years ago). Beriberi is caused by chronic thiamine (vit B-1) deficiency. Well, I can tell you that I have seen two severe cases over recent years in older men who have been in ill health which has caused enormous stress and affected their digestion. They have suffered varying degrees of nerve damage, inclusing limb paralysis. Frustratingly, treatment has consisted of powerful medications, including large doses of prednisone. Needless to say, this has been without any benefit.

All they required was a diet rich in B vitamins and a quality B vitamin supplement. Modern medicine can be very frustrating at times. I'll write more about this later.
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