The Vitamin That Fights Fatigue

Feeling tired?  Vitamin D could boost your energy levels, says new research in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.


In a British study, D-deficient people exercised their fatigued calf muscles under a special kind of machine that measures cells’ mitochondria, which generate energy. After the participants took vitamin D supplements, their mitochondrial function improved, and feelings of fatigued diminished.

It’s the first scientific link between vitamin D and mitochondrial activity, which is essential for muscular endurance, says lead researcher Akash Sinha, of Newcastle University. (In a separate study, Sinha and his team showed that low D levels led to reduced mitochondrial function.)

Wake up your cells by heading outdoors. Sunlight is a natural source of vitamin D—10 to 15 minutes of exposure provides a good dose—but the vitamin is also abundant in some fish. The Institute of Medicine recommends a dietary intake of 600 IU per day, which is the equivalent of 3 ounces of cooked salmon. Fortified milk is a good source as well. You can also take a supplement.


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