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Vitamin D Is an Essential Energy Nutrient

Posted Apr 26 2013 10:08pm

An underlying cause of fatigue can be suboptimal mitochondrial function, and Vitamin D deficiency is a well-recognized cause of fatigue and myopathy.    Akash Sinha, from Newcastle University (United Kingdom), and colleagues used non-invasive magnetic resonance scans to measure the response to exercise in 12 patients with severe deficiency before and after treatment with vitamin D.  The team found that exercise recovery rates significantly improved after the patients took a fixed dose of oral vitamin D for 10-12 weeks, with the average phosphocreatine recovery half time decreasing from 34.4 sec to 27.8 sec. All patients reported an improvement in symptoms of fatigue after having taken the supplements. In a parallel study, the group demonstrated that low Vitamin D levels were associated with reduced mitochondrial function.  Explaining that: “[Vitamin D] therapy augments muscle mitochondrial maximal oxidative phosphorylation following exercise in symptomatic, vitamin D deficient individuals,” the study authors submit that: “This finding suggests that changes in mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation in skeletal muscle could at least be partly responsible for the fatigue experienced by these patients. For the first time, we demonstrate a link between vitamin D and the mitochondria in human skeletal muscle.”

Akash Sinha, Kieren Hollingsworth, Steve Ball, Tim Cheetham. “Improving the Vitamin D status of Vitamin D deficient adults is associated with improved mitochondrial oxidative function in skeletal muscle.”  Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 6 April 2013.

  
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Tip #153 - Fit with Fiber
Soluble fiber is found in foods such as oat/oat bran, dried beans and peas, nuts, barley, flax seed, fruits such as oranges and apples, vegetables such as carrots, and psyllium husk. It binds with fatty acids and prolongs stomach emptying time so that sugar is released and absorbed more slowly. Researchers from Hospital Universitari de Sant Joan (Spain) randomly assigned 200 overweight or obese study subjects to receive a daily soluble fiber supplement (comprised of Plantago ovata husk and glucomannan) two or three times a day, or placebo, for 16 weeks. At the end of the study, weight loss was higher in both fiber groups (4.52 and 4.60 kg lost, respectively), compared to the placebo group (0.79 kg weight loss). Additionally, LDL (low-density, “bad”) cholesterol levels decreased by 0.38 and 0.24 mmol/l in the fiber-supplemented groups, and the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL (high-density, “good")-cholesterol, and HDL to LDL, were also improved.

The recommended intake of fiber is 25 grams per day. To meet this, eat at least 5 servings of fruits & vegetables as well as at least 6 servings of grain products per day (at least 3 of which are whole grains). Your waistline, as well as cardiovascular health, will both benefit.

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