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, “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.


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).


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


Primary Source:

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.

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 D3 Can Help Combat Inflammation

Vitamin D3 May Help Reduce Inflammation

By: Pamela Egan, MN, FNP

At the root of many, many chronic diseases and illnesses such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, etc., is inflammation. If one can keep inflammation at bay, that person has successfully won half of the aging battle.

Vitamin D SunlightResearch shows you can drastically reduce your risk of cancer and countless other chronic diseases by getting safe sun exposure, or taking a high quality Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) supplement. Vitamin D3 deficiency has been associated with Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Diabetes, Colon Cancer, Obesity, High Blood Pressure, Heart Disease, Auto-Immune Disease, Neuro-degenerative Diseases including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Multiple Sclerosis and Lou Gehrig’s Disease, Osteoporosis, Depression, and also Breast Cancer.

Personally, I can always tell when my D3 levels falls lower than 60 because my feet get achy. However, this occurrence is rare as I make a point of regularly obtaining the nutrient through a variety of Vitamin D3 Sources.

Sun, Vitamin D and Inflammation

New data on nutrition and heart disease presented at a recent symposium and published in the July issue of the American Journal of the Medical Sciences shows that low vitamin D levels are a common problem affecting numerous health conditions, including high blood pressure, heart failure and ischemic heart disease.

I have many patients with auto-immune disease including Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus who are off of their medications including steroids and methotrexate with vitamin D3 10,000iu/day plus a course of prescription strength probiotics such as VSL-3VSL #3.  Many patients with hypertension are managed with Vitamin D3 5000 iu twice a day + Magnesium Glycinate 100mg twice a day.

High-quality vitamin d3 supplements are available at EGAN Wellness Clinic, the clinic’s online supplement shop and other providers of high-end nutritional supplements. It is important to actually purchase a high-quality supplement as opposed to grocery store and pharmacy brands, which are not anywhere near equal to the vitamin D3 made by companies like Douglas Laboratories, EGAN Wellness / EGAN Nutrition or a BioTech. The Vitamin D3 Blog provides this information for those who may be better off taking such a supplement (as opposed to receiving a flu vaccine) but don’t know where to obtain one that will achieve the desired results.

Pamela Egan, NP, ABAAHP Diplomat (American Board of Anti-Aging Health Practitioners), CDE is a board certified Adult & Family Nurse Practitioner, Fellow of the American Academy of Anti-Aging & Functional Medicine, and Certified Diabetes Educator. She is a health columnist from Covington, LA.

Vitamin D3 Benefits: Autism and ADHD

Can Vitamin D3 Help Reduce the Rates of Autism, ADHD?

By: Pamela Egan, NP, ABAAHP, CDE

In addition to research that indicates that Vitamin D3 can help drastically reduce your risk of Seasonal Flu and Swine Flu, the super-vitamin also appears to have a role in combating Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) as well as Autism.

Vitamin D Autism

More than 4.4 million children have been diagnosed with ADHD. Health officials believe the incidence of autism is 1 in 150. The incidence among boys is even higher: 1 in 94.  Vitamin D’s role in the development of the brain begins when the human brain undergoes its most rapid and complex formation between the last trimester of pregnancy and the first two years of life.  Some of the new literature on vitamin D3 suggests that it may be that a maternal vitamin D3 deficiency sets the stage for autism. When combined with the right genetic propensity, which is linked to a high risk of autoimmune disorders, activating an immune reaction in the brain may trigger the effects on brain development associated with autism.

In this way, daily ingestion of a high-quality vitamin d3 supplement by pregnant mothers may help reduce the rates of ADHD and Autism in future generations.

Pamela Egan, NP, ABAAHP Diplomat (American Board of Anti-Aging Health Practitioners), CDE is a board certified Adult & Family Nurse Practitioner, Fellow of the American Academy of Anti-Aging & Functional Medicine, and Certified Diabetes Educator. She is a  health columnist from Covington, LA. Her website is

Nurse Practitioner Egan has written extensively about the topic of vitamin d3. Links to some of her articles about the subject have been included below.

Pam’s Vitamin D3 Articles:

  • Vitamin D3 Sources – Article about the various sources through which one can obtain vitamin d3. These include sunlight, egg yolks and cold liver oil.
  • Vitamin D3: The Miracle of Sunshine – Comprehensive article covers virtually all angles of discussion regarding the topic of vitamin d3. The article touches upon the differences between vitamins d2 and d3, the role of sunlight in the creation of d3, d3 deficiency and the many, many health benefits associated with consistently healthy levels of the nutrient being present in an individual.
  • Vitamin D3: Are You Getting Enough? – Article covering the basics of vitamin d3, emphasizing the importance of the nutrient and warning against the dangers of being d3 deficient. The article recommends sunbathing, in the nude if possible, as a means of countering d3 deficiency.
  • Experts Call for Increased Dosage of Vitamin D3 – Article discussing vitamin d3 dosage, and research that suggests that additional health benefits may be obtained by increasing the amount of intake.
  • Vitamin D3 May Help Lower Blood Pressure and Cholesterol – Article discussing scientific research that seemingly establishes a relationship between vitamin d3, blood pressure and cholesterol. The study found that as vitamin d levels decreased, blood pressure and cholesterol tended to rise, and vice versa.

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.