Seasonal variability of the vitamin D effect on physical fitness in adolescents

Gregorio P. Milani, Giacomo D. Simonetti, Valeria Edefonti, Sebastiano A.G. Lava, Carlo Agostoni, Maurus Curti, Andreas Stettbacher, Mario G. Bianchetti, Franco Muggli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Studies investigating the relationship between vitamin D and physical fitness in youth have provided inconsistent findings. Recent evidence indicates that the expression of receptors and vitamin D-modulated genes in young subjects has a seasonal profile. Therefore, we investigated the role of vitamin D on physical fitness across seasons in a total of 977 male adolescents. Anthropometrics, lifestyle, dietary habits, biochemical profiles and physical fitness were studied. Multiple linear regression models, including pairwise interaction terms involving total 25-OH-vitamin D, were fitted. The interacting effect of season and total 25-OH-vitamin D had a significant influence on physical fitness performance (spring and total 25-OH-vitamin D: ß 0.19, SE 0.07, p = 0.007; summer and total 25-OH-vitamin D: ß 0.10, SE 0.06, p = 0.11; autumn and total 25-OH-vitamin D: ß 0.18, SE 0.07, p = 0.01), whereas the main effect of total 25-OH-vitamin D alone was not significant (p = 0.30). Body fat percentage, recreational physical activity level, time spent per day gaming/TV-watching, smoking, and hemoglobin levels were also related to the physical fitness performance score. Future studies should further explore the role of seasonal-dependent effects of vitamin D on health.

Original languageEnglish
Article number182
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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