Was Anderson Silva's Broken Leg The Result of Vitamin D Deficiency?

Robert Jonathan

Could former UFC Middleweight champ Anderson Silva's shattered leg be due to low vitamin D levels?

One nutritionist claims that insufficient vitamin D and low bone density typical of those who extensively train inside could have led to Silva's horrific, potentially career-ending, injury.

Known as the sunshine vitamin, its proponents claim that the compund can provide a wide array of health benefits including boosting the immune system and warding off disease and that low levels have been linked to many chronic wellness issues.

The match between Silva and Chris Weidman on Saturday night at UFC 168 came to an abrupt conclusion in the second round when Anderson Silva attempted a leg kick that was checked by Weidman, causing Silva's leg to snap in half (see embed below). The fight was immediately ended, and Weidman was awarded a TKO.

Silva, 38, has already undergone surgery on the broken left leg, which included the insertion of a titanium rod.

Considered by many to be the greatest mixed martial artist of all time, Silva earned black belts in Muay Thai, Jiu-Jitsu, Judo, and Taekwondo, and a yellow rope in Capoeira. He set UFC records with 16 consecutive wins and 10 straight title defenses.

Mike Adams, the self-named "health ranger" and Anderson Silva fan, claims that many UFC fighters have chronic Vitamin D deficiency: Writing on the Natural News website, Adams offered the theory that low Vitamin D levels in some athletes can tend to lead to a light skeletal system, fragile bones, and possibly an increased likelihood of injury. He explained, in part:

"... Anderson Silva is a Brazilian fighter with a tall, lean frame. Like many UFC fighters, he has dark skin pigmentation, but almost no one in the UFC realizes that dark skin pigmentation interferes with vitamin D creation in response to UV rays from sunlight … As a result of this, nearly all dark-skinned people are chronically vitamin D deficient, especially if they spend a lot of time indoors (in gyms, working in offices, etc.). Taking vitamin D supplements can reverse this situation, but many people don't realize they're deficient and fail to take sufficient quantities [of] supplements. Many vitamin D supplements also provide far too little vitamin D to support bone density..."

Added Adams: "...Chronic vitamin D deficiency causes bones to become fragile. What happens is that a lack of vitamin D greatly reduces the body's absorption and uptake of dietary calcium, strontium and other trace elements which build bone material. This is why nearly everyone with low vitamin D also has low bone density..."

He also claimed lightweight bones offer UFC fighters a tactical advantage in that "they can pack on more muscle in proportion to their skeletal system while still meeting the required weight limit for the fight... but "One wrong kick and your career can be finished."

Against this backdrop, Adams recommended that UFC fighters get their bone density checked by a doctor who specializes in osteoporosis.

Setting aside Adams' contention, even conventional physicians often recommend Vitamin D supplements for those patients whose blood work suggests that would be appropriate.

Do you think that Adams' theory about Vitamin D deficiency has any merit in this particular instance or are there many other variables and factors that could have led to the devastating Anderson Silva leg injury?