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/

Reversing Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D Deficiency (A Reader’s Experience)

By: Elena W. (Vitamin D3 Blog Reader)

Editor’s Note: The following story was submitted to the Vitamin D3 Blog as a comment. Due to its length and the dramatic nature of the claims made herein, the editorial decision was made to publish the comment as a standalone post/article. The Vitamin D3 Blog cannot vouch for the accuracy or legitimacy of the claims contained within this reader’s account of her experience with vitamin D deficiency. The following is her story, and does not reflect the views, opinions or beliefs of the Vitamin D3 Blog, its writers or editorial staff.

Liquid Vitamin D3 Supplements, Sunbathing Ended Years of Suffering

I developed severe unbearable pain in the back of my neck in June 2009. It took six months to receive a diagnosis, and after that I had to go through six months of medications that did not work. My condition got progressively worse.

In May of 2010 I underwent fundoplication surgery for Larynpharengeal Reflux. Over the next five months worsened even more.

Even though the PH studies showed the surgery reduced the reflux into the throat from 40 to 0.4. While that was quite an improvement in terms of PH, however my overall condition continued to worsen to the point that I began to lose approximately two pounds each day simply because I couldn’t swallow water.

After being sent to a mental health clinic in the region where I retired, my new doctors assumed my condition was stressed induced, and likely all in my head. It was at that point that I began to take over my own treatment regimen.Probiotic Supplements (Medical Grade)

I observed major improvement with medical-grade doses of probiotics. However, there was no other improvement to speak of. Still, that result was nonetheless better than what modern medicine was able to achieve.

In April of 2011, still burning severely in my whole throat/neck/head area, I developed two additional health problems: a progressively worsening incontinence and severe shoulder pain, respectively. The shoulder pain was severe and I was unable to even lift my arms.

In Aug 2011 I went to the head regional gastroenterologist to request that I be sent to an outside medical system for a second opinion and that the HMO pay for it. The head GI said three things to me, “We don’t know what you have but it’s not LPR; we are not going to pay for an outside opinion; and you have to learn to live with the pain.”

By now, I didn’t even bother to share with my doctors that I had developed incontinence and severe shoulder pain. I basically knew intuitively that my doctors were incompetent and failed to think outside of the box. All they were able to do was to go through their routine medical periodicals.

Fortunately for me, I never stopped researching my illness, and slowly pieced together that my illnesses was due to weak esophageal muscles. It was sort of like atrophy, because the fundoplication should have significantly helped me and it didn’t. I came home from that August 2011 meeting with the head regional GI doctor and wept. I knew I was doomed to a slow death, and my ability to cope with acid burn on the sensitive throat nerves was reaching a point of causing me to lose my ability to cope with the constant pain. I was sleeping no more than 5 minutes at a time at night, and I paced all day to walk off the nerve/throat pain.

However, my luck was about to change for the better. I had a moment of clarity and sat down at the computer and did a web search for “what strengthens muscles”, and up popped different articles, several  of which mentioned Vitamin D3.

Sunbathing as a Vitamin D3 Source

I sat up. I saw that athletes use it for muscle strength. When I read that it hit me — I had avoided the sun for 40 years! I was a textbook example of what can happen in cases of severe vitamin D deficiency.

I had mistakenly believed all the articles I had read stating that the sun was bad for the skin. I immediately sent a email to my primary care physician and without saying why, told her I wanted a vitamin D test (a Liquid Vitamin D3 Supplementsblood test to determine vitamin D levels relative to what is defined as “normal” ranges) as well as a vitamin B12 test.

I studied the types of vitamin D, and learned that D3 was definitely the best form to take as a supplement. I immediately ordered some 10,000 IU liquid vitamin D3 supplements.

I received my D3 drops three days later and within 24-48 hours the deep pain in my shoulder blades had vanished and the bladder incontinence disappeared. Even the LPR slowly began to lift.

It’s been 2.5 years and I continue to improve with LPR. I now travel during vacation down the latitude of the planet toward the equator for sunshine. I live at the 38th latitude on the planet and have researched that the sun is best at 1 pm (due to daylight savings time) from mid-April to mid-September, and I get about 10-13 minutes of direct sunshine every day that I can.

My health has improved in ways I can not explain. However, these are very real, albeit somewhat subtle. For example, I’ve had severe weakness of the legs since I was 40 years old. I’m 62 right now and my legs climb stairs with no problem.

I feel so strong now that I finally have energy! I don’t drag through the day, and my sleeping patterns have seen a world of improvement. I used to frequently fall ill with a variety of ailments. Now I rarely get sick. My skin has improved, and in spite of everything mentioned herein, I can’t help but think I’m omitting something.

Man Sunbathing for Vitamin D3

Vitamin D3 supplements have worked wonders for my health. While I cannot scientifically prove that the D3 is the sole reason for my dramatic improvement in terms of my overall health, I know without one iota of doubt that were it not for the vitamin D, there’s a good chance I wouldn’t even be alive today, much less in the best health I can recall being in for the vast majority of my adult life.

Elena W.

The Vitamin D3 Blog would like to thank Elena for contributing her experience with Vitamin D Deficiency!

Note: Images do not necessarily depict those of the reader or the brand of supplements she takes.