Vitamin D supplementation impact on fatigue: What scientists say

Here’s what experts say about Vitamin D supplementation impact on fatigue. Vitamin D is long known for its role in bone health, but its reach extends far beyond. Recent research suggests its involvement in various physiological processes, potentially influencing a wide range of conditions. This review delves into the mechanisms of vitamin D’s impact on fatigue, exploring its potential as a fatigue-mitigating agent.

What is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays a vital role in maintaining good health such as bone health, Immune function, cell growth and differentiation, muscle function, and mood regulation. It’s often called the “sunshine vitamin” because our bodies naturally produce it when exposed to sunlight. Spending 15-20 minutes in the sun without sunscreen during peak sun hours can help your body produce vitamin D. However, the amount of vitamin D you produce depends on several factors, such as your skin tone, the time of day, and the season. Additionally, it’s also found in some foods (Fatty fish, egg yolks, and fortified foods) and available as supplements. The recommended daily intake of vitamin D for adults is 600-800 IU. However, some people may need more, such as older adults, people with dark skin, and people who live in areas with limited sun exposure.

Vitamin D supplementation impact on fatigue: What scientists say

Several studies [1, 2, 3, 4] have investigated the impact of vitamin D supplementation on fatigue. A double-blind randomized placebo-controlled trial found that vitamin D treatment significantly improved fatigue in otherwise healthy persons with vitamin D deficiency.
Another study suggested that patient-reported fatigue is one of the leading reasons for vitamin D testing, and that low vitamin D levels have been associated with fatigue in uncontrolled trials. A systematic review and meta-analysis found that vitamin D supplementation might have an effect on fatigue, but its effect on disease symptoms remains unclear. Additionally, the correction of low vitamin D levels has been shown to improve fatigue in patients with conditions such as multiple sclerosis and cancer. However, the link between vitamin D status and fatigue is still a topic of ongoing research, and there is uncertainty about whether the association is causal. Furthermore, vitamin D deficiency can cause muscle pain and weakness, which may co-exist with conditions like ME/CFS.

The study highlights the role of Vitamin D in fatigue mitigation:

  • Reducing Oxidative Stress: Vitamin D plays a crucial role in managing oxidative stress, a key factor in fatigue development. It does this by decreasing levels of harmful molecules like iNOS, COX-2, and NFkβ, reducing cellular damage and promoting antioxidant activity.
  • Regulating Neurotransmitters: Vitamin D influences the levels of neurotransmitters linked to fatigue, like serotonin and dopamine. It also upregulates growth factors like NGF and GDNF, essential for neuronal health and function.
  • Modulating Inflammation: Vitamin D plays a complex role in the immune system, promoting anti-inflammatory responses through cytokines like IL-4, 5, and 10. It also reduces pro-inflammatory cytokines like IL-2, TNF-α, and IFNγ, further contributing to fatigue reduction.
  • Epigenetic Influence: Vitamin D alters the epigenome, affecting gene expression and influencing cellular processes. This includes enhancing vitamin D receptor binding, regulating CTCF levels, and impacting TAD formation, potentially influencing fatigue-related pathways.
    Evidence and Remaining Questions:

While the review highlights the potential of vitamin D in fatigue reduction, the evidence remains mixed. Strong associations exist between vitamin D and fatigue in certain populations like the elderly and MS patients. However, data for other conditions like fibromyalgia and cancer is inconclusive.

Further Research Needed: To solidify the link between vitamin D and fatigue, further research is crucial. Randomized controlled clinical trials are needed to determine the causal effects of vitamin D supplementation on fatigue reduction in various populations and disease states.

Key Points:

Vitamin D plays a multifaceted role in fatigue mitigation, potentially through its effects on oxidative stress, neurotransmitters, inflammation, and the epigenome.
Evidence for its effectiveness in reducing fatigue is mixed and requires further research, particularly through controlled clinical trials. Vitamin D holds promise as a fatigue-mitigating agent, but its efficacy needs to be confirmed for specific populations and conditions.

ALSO READ: New Parkinson’s treatment focuses on stopping toxic protein production


The information in this article is backed by research findings from reliable sources and the image used is from

Last Updated on January 29, 2024 by shalw

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