Is Vitamin D Deficiency Making You Tired?

Effect of Vitamin D3 on Self-Perceived Fatigue

A double-blind randomized placebo-controlled trial conducted by doctors at Medical Outpatients Division University Hospital Zurich finds that Vitamin D3 treatment helps with, “significantly improved fatigue in otherwise healthy persons with vitamin D deficiency.High-Potency Vitamin D3 - 50 IU

This was the first double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial to investigate the efficacy of per os (oral supplementation) vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) in treating fatigue among otherwise healthy persons with low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) levels.

According to the study’s participants, as published at Nih.gov, “In this study, we aimed to test if a single vitamin D dose improves fatigue after 30 days among vitamin D deficient individuals who report fatigue but are otherwise healthy.”

122 patients participated in the study, with 59 receiving a 100,000 IU supervised dose of vitamin D3 while 63 received a placebo.

The abstract of the study stated its background as follows: “Vitamin D deficiency is frequent and has been associated with fatigue in uncontrolled trials.”

Vitamin D Deficiency is caused by spending too much time indoors, wearing too many clothes while outside on warm, sunny days, failure to supplement with high-quality supplements and failure to obtain adequate amounts of vitamin D3 from food and dietary sources. [1]

According to separate study published in Annals of Epidemiology, a study study led by Dr. Cedric Garland, on the preventive measures of vitamin D, which projected that raising the minimum year round serum 25(OH)D level to 40 – 60 ng/ml (100-150nmo/L) would prevent approximately 58,000 new cases of breast cancer and 49,000 new cases of colorectal cancer each year, and three quarters of deaths from these diseases, in the US and Canada. [2]

Woman Sunbathing for Vitamin D3

The study, which is published at the National Institutes of Health Medial Library, defined enrollment criteria as follows:

To qualify for our enrollment criteria of vitamin D deficiency at baseline, we required a 25(OH)D level below 20 μg/L, this threshold has been used according to the latest report on dietary requirements for calcium and vitamin D from the Institute of Medicine.

25(OH) vitamin D was analyzed at the time of the screening assessment in the Institute of Clinical Chemistry, University Hospital of Zurich, using an automated immunoassay (Cobas 8000 Analyser; Roche Diagnostics, Rotkreuz, Switzerland).

Additional laboratory measures included: intact PTH, calcium, phosphate, hemoglobin, ferritin, thyroid-stimulating hormone, C-reactive protein, alanine aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, creatinine, creatine kinase.

The criteria used for determining study participants is as follows:

Study participants with fatigue were enrolled at the Medical Outpatients Division University Hospital Zurich. Healthy individuals who suffer from fatigue were recruited by posting announcements on in-house info boards and on the intranet of the University of Zurich and the University Hospital Zurich. Healthy subjects of 20 to 50 years with a body mass index (BMI) of 18 to 25 kg/m2 were further evaluated for inclusion.

Exclusion criteria were intake of vitamin D preparations during 8 weeks prior to study enrollment, pregnancy or lactation, hypersensitivity to vitamin D, any known cardiovascular, pulmonary, renal, or hepatic disease, anemia, hyper- and hypocalcemia (corrected serum calcium levels >2.54 mmol/L or <2.09 mmol/L, respectively, the normal range given by the local laboratory), presence of muscle or bone disease, severe infection, inflammation, malignancy, known mental disorders, sleep disorders, chronic intake of concurrent medication, except oral contraceptives, known chronic kidney disease with glomerular filtration rate (CKD-EPI-estimated) <60 mL/min/1.73 m2, medication affecting physical or mental performance, participation in any other therapeutic trial within the previous month, inability to follow the procedures of the study, for example, due to language problems, psychological disorders, dementia etc., enrollment of the investigator, his/her family members, employees, and other dependent persons (Supplemental Table).

The study used vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) in doses of 100,000 IU, administered by way of two capsules that looked identical to the placebo.

The results of the research are truly fascinating. The  results showed that 100,000 IE single dose vitamin D supplements lead to a significant improvement in fatigue in the vitamin D group compared with the placebo group.

Result:

The mean age of the participants was 29 ± 6 years, 53% were women. Mean FAS decreased significantly more in the vitamin D group (−3.3 ± 5.3; 95% confidence interval [CI] for change −14.1 to 4.1) compared with placebo (−0.8 ± 5.3; 95% CI for change −9.0 to 8.7); (P = 0.01). Amelioration of fatigue was reported more frequently in vitamin D than in placebo group (42 [72%] vs. 31 [50%]; P = 0.01; odds ratio [OR] 2.63, 95% CI for OR 1.23–5.62). Among all participants, improvement in fatigue score correlated with the rise in 25(OH)D level (R = −0.22, P = 0.02).

Conclusion:

Vitamin D treatment significantly improved fatigue in otherwise healthy persons with vitamin D deficiency.

Sources:

Primary Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5207540/

Vitamin D and Testosterone Levels

A new study appears to show a link between healthy vitamin D intake and healthy testosterone levels, and/or a link between low vitamin D levels and low testosterone. Which is it? More research is needed, say the scientists who conducted the study.

Vitamin D and Testosterone Levels

Vitamin D Deficiency has already been shown to lead to an increased propensity for developing dozens of different illnesses, diseases and other conditions. Conversely, healthy levels of vitamin D3 by way of sun exposure or supplementation have been shown to help strengthen the immune system and stave off numerous diseases. Well, theres more news on the vitamin D front, and this latest news involving the miracle sunshine vitamin appears to bode especially well for men particularly those whose age is at (or in excess of) the age at which testosterone levels typically begin to decline in males.

Testosterone and Vitamin D

Testosterone is the male sex hormone, and low levels can result in a decreased sex drive, metabolic slowing and decreased muscle mass, among other things.

The most recent news is that high serum levels of Vitamin D have been clinically shown to boost testosterone levels in men. This according to a new study conducted by Katharina Nimptsch and associates at the Harvard School of Public Health[1], and which was published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology earlier this year.

In their report on the trial, Nimptsch and company suggested that vitamin D may increase the production of testosterone in men, and experimental animal studies and at least one cross-sectional study appear to show a positive link between plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D or 25(OH)D and testosterone production in men. The scientists determined that once vitamin D levels reached the point of 75 to 85 nmol per liter, the relationship with increased testosterone production appeared to taper off.

A similar association was also observed between levels of serum vitamin D and free testosterone.

At lower levels, the amount of the increase in testosterone production was proportionate to the increase in vitamin D levels, which in the study were ingested in the form of vitamin D3 supplements.

Vitamin D3 is the form of vitamin D obtained through sun exposure and a process of internal synthesis involving the bodys vitamin D receptors. D3, also known as cholecalciferol, is the most readily absorbed form of vitamin D available as a supplement, and is far more effective than the synthetic vitamin D2, the use of which as a supplement in humans has become controversial in recent years.

Testosterone Vitamin D

The scientists who conducted the trial stopped short of asserting a definitive causality between increased vitamin D3 intake and increased testosterone levels. The report made it a point of clarifying that more research is needed to determine whether the relationship between increased vitamin D intake (or synthesis if obtained from sunlight) results in increased testosterone, or if low testosterone is merely a byproduct of low vitamin D to begin with. While this may appear to be a tomato-tomahto argument for some, the scientists were careful to assert that more research was needed before any sort of causality between vitamin D levels and testosterone levels could be established.

In the scientists own words:

This study supports previously reported positive associations between vitamin D and testosterone although we did not observe parallel seasonal variation patterns. Possible causality and direction of the vitamin D-testosterone association deserve further scientific investigation.

In any case, testosterone-boosting medications and supplements have become a booming industry over the past couple of years, and it is possible that men across the country and world may be unnecessarily paying excessive prices for doctors visits, testosterone-enhancing medicines and high-end supplements which may have adverse side-effects. If all that is needed to achieve healthy testosterone levels is increased sun exposure and/or a high-quality vitamin D3 supplement, then hundreds of thousands if not millions of men could be saving hundreds of dollars while safely and naturally achieving the same ends (increased levels of testosterone, the male sex hormone) without all the risks, negative side-effects and foreign chemicals found in some of these other testosterone boosting medicines and supplements.

Vitamin D and Low Testosterone

[1] http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2265.2012.04332.x/abstract

Schizophrenia Linked to Vitamin D Insufficiency

Schizophrenia Linked to Vitamin D Insufficiency

By: Pamela Egan

A new study out of Iran has determined that individuals suffering from inadequate serum levels of vitamin D have more than double the chances of becoming schizophrenic than do people who obtain healthy amounts of the letter vitamin/hormone.

Low Vitamin D Serum Levels Doubles Chances of Becoming Schizophrenic

Vitamin D-3 Drops (Supplement)Unlike a traditional study, the research published July 22 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism constitutes what is known as a “meta analysis”. In a meta analysis, unlike a traditional experiment, study or clinical trial, instead of conducting original research using volunteers (test subjects), a control group and different variables to determine how the different variables react (or don’t react) to the volunteers under various circumstances; the researchers instead review previously conducted research. The objective is to review numerous studies which are similar in nature in an attempt to discern any patterns or other data that may surface in the presence of macro-data that may not be as obvious within the context of a single study.

In this particular instance, the researchers reviewed 19 different studies encompassing a combined total of over 2,800 people studied. The purpose of the research was to determine if any discernible link could be established between vitamin D deficiency and schizophrenia.

The scientists were surprised to discover that not only does vitamin D deficiency predispose an individual to developing schizophrenia, a grouping of psychiatric disorders characterized by among other things hallucinations, difficulty speaking, delusions and disoriented thoughts, but did so by a substantial margin. As it turns out, those who suffer from insufficient levels of vitamin D (which is actually a hormone – not a vitamin), a condition known as “vitamin D deficiency” or “vitamin D deficiency syndrome”, are more than two times as likely to become schizophrenic than are people who maintain normal/healthy levels of the hormone/nutrient. The exact figure is 2.16 times more likely for those whose levels are inadequate relative to those whose are.

While co-author Dr. Ahmad Esmaillzadeh expressed hope that his team’s findings “might help psychiatrists in the healing process of patients with schizophrenia,” he cautioned against jumping to any conclusions with regard to the role (if any) vitamin D supplements will play in the prevention and treatment of this mentally trying condition.

“Controlled clinical trials are needed to confirm the effects of vitamin D supplementation,” Esmaillzadeh added.

Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Schizophrenia – Video

Vitamin D as a Flu Shot Alternative

Vitamin D3: An Alternative to Flu Vaccine?

Could flu prevention be as simple as ensuring one has adequate levels of vitamin D? At least one doctor thinks so.

Flu Shot

At the bottom of this article is a short video of Dr. John Cannell, MD, discussing the health benefits of vitamin d, particularly as it pertains to the effects of vitamin d on the immune system.

The doctor begins be stating that anyone who takes 5,000 iu of vitamin d3 every can attest to the immune benefits offered by the nutrient by confirming that they no longer get sick.

He claims that “any infection disease” be it bacterial, viral or even fungal, that is more common in the wintertime, is “a target” of vitamin d. He claims that vitamin d has a tremendous effect in preventing the common cold and flu, a result of the nutrient’s anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties.

The doctor elaborates on the subject of vitamin d deficiency, comparing the rates of infection for various diseases in the normal population versus in those that are vitamin d deficient, citing that rates of infection are several times higher in those that are deficient.

Also discussed is the effect of vitamin d as an anti-inflammatory agent, helping to reduce inflammation and in the process, strengthen the immune system. This may be part of the reason vitamin d3 may help lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and is widely believed to help protect against heart disease.

The doctor goes much farther into detail in the video than I can document in this post. He spends a significant amount of time discussing the relationship between vitamin d deficiency and influenza, including avian flu, the common influenza, as well as H1N1 flu.

Finally, the opinions expressed in the video are those of the doctor depicted in the video, and do not necessarily reflect those of this blog, its author, or any partner sites.

Disclaimer: Neither this blog or its author are advocating either for or against anyone receiving a flu shot. That decision is between an individual and his or her doctor.

Dermatologists Disagree with Vitamin D Council

Dermatologists Disagree with Vitamin D Council

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) has come under fire for a recent statement issued on behalf of the organization claiming that sun exposure is not necessary in order for a person to obtain sufficient amounts of vitamin d3 (cholecalciferol).

American Academy of Dermatology

A group known as The Vitamin D Council blasted the dermatologists association in response to the statement, claiming the statement was an attempt to protect the Academy from potential liabilities stemming from previous campaigns to increase sunscreen use, which the Council claims resulted in mass-vitamin d deficiencies.

Vitamin D Council

In response to the outpouring of criticism stemming from its earlier statement, the AAD released a revised statement in which the semantics appear to have been tinkered with but little actually changed substantively speaking.  Though the wording was slightly different, the group stood by its claim that people should obtain vitamin d through food and not via the sun. The reason, they claim, is that the costs in terms of damage to the skin outweigh the benefits brought about by the vitamin d3.

American Academy of Dermatology Website:  http://www.aad.org/index.html

The Vitamin D Council’s Website: http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/