By: Marc Sorenson, Sunlight Institute–
An excellent article from Science Daily discusses a new piece of research from the journal, Endocrine Abstracts, which has provided evidence that vitamin D supplementation (in persons who are deficient) can provide increased muscle efficiency. The mechanism occurs in the mitochondria, which are the power-generating engines in all body cells. Vitamin D replenishment may help the mitochondria to use glucose and oxygen to make the ATP, which is a ready source of energy. Part of the process of producing ATP is accomplished by a chemical called phosphocreatine. If phosphocreatine cannot be replenished quickly after muscle work, then recovery from muscle fatigue will be slow, and the person experiencing this slow recovery will experience an inability to feel energetic.
This research showed that after 10-12 weeks of vitamin D treatment among patients with muscle fatigue, the replenishment of phosphocreatine occurred about 20% faster, and all patients reported improvement in symptoms of fatigue. The article also mentioned that a parallel study, the group demonstrated that low vitamin D levels were associated with reduced mitochondrial function. The takeaway from this research is that chronic fatigue may be lessened by optimizing vitamin D levels.
The authors of the Science Daily article described vitamin D as “…a hormone produced in the skin using energy from sunlight, and to a lesser extent derived from dietary sources.” We all know that sunlight is the only natural way to produce vitamin D, so it was good to see them give sunlight its due. In the future, I believe it will be confirmed that chronic fatigue can be relieved in people who are deficient in vitamin D, simply by getting in the sunlight!