Vitamin D Is Associated With Levels Of Both Serotonin Important For Mood Regulation And Melatonin Which Regulates Our Sleep
Evidence suggests there may be a relationship since vitamin D is associated with levels of both serotonin, important for mood regulation, and melatonin, which regulates our sleep. Low levels of either hormone could contribute to SAD symptoms. Researchers have yet to carry out a definitive randomised control trial, however, and the exact mechanism by which vitamin D bolsters the hormones is unknown. One theory is that vitamin D receptors which are found in many parts of the brain and concentrated in the hypothalamus, a region involved in our circadian timing play a part in controlling the bodys hormone levels.
Research has found that vitamin D plays a wider role in our mental health, from depression to schizophrenia, as well as in brain development, but how it plays a role also remains unclear. A meta-analysis published earlier this year found that while there is a correlation between lower vitamin D levels and depression, that didnt necessarily mean D caused depression.
Again, perhaps depressed people just went out less and got less sunlight.
If studies are inconclusive, though, perhaps that doesnt reflect on the importance of vitamin D. Perhaps its the fact that most of them are based on supplements, not sunshine.
Some experts believe that vitamin D is most effective when its from the sun, not supplements
Can You Take Too Much Vitamin D
While it is possible to take too much vitamin D, toxicity is very rare.
In fact, you would need to take extremely high doses of 50,000 IU or more for a long period of time .
Its also worth noting that it is impossible to overdose on vitamin D from sunlight .
Although 4,000 IU is set as the maximum amount of vitamin D you can take safely, several studies have shown that taking up to 10,000 IU daily wont cause side effects (
What Are The Physiological Bases Of Physical And Mental Fatigue
A common feature of fatigue is a sense of energy depletion, which can objectively be related to an insufficient amount of energy . Mental and physical fatigue are experienced when these do not meet ongoing demands of the brain and muscles respectively. Under resting conditions, the fractional daily energy expenditure is the highest for heart and kidney , then for the brain , then the liver , while the resting skeletal muscle would need only approximately 13 kcal/kg. However, after considering the average adult weight of these organs, brain and muscle emerge as the most metabolically active structures, even at rest .
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Vitamins And Minerals Are Involved In Neuronal Structures
Thiamine is involved in the formation of synapses, the growth of axons and myelin genesis, leading to the establishment of a functional neuroglia. It is also able to stabilize the membrane of newly generated neuronal cells during embryogenesis and may control apoptosis this may proceed through suspected thiamine-binding sites, present on biological membranes .
Pantothenic acid is an essential precursor in the synthesis of acetyl-CoA. Many soluble proteins are acetylated by acetyl-CoA at their N-termination. N-Acetylation is one of the most common covalent modifications of proteins, crucial for their regulation and function, and approximately 85% of all human proteins are acetylated . These post-translation modifications are in particular present in nervous system structures: protein acetylation also appears important for neuronal development .
Folate is involved in cerebral methylation processes and is important in maintaining neuronal and glial membrane lipids, which could have effects on more general brain functions as reflected in changes in mood, irritability and sleep .
Several components of the nervous system are modulated by the concentrations in ascorbate , including neurotransmitter receptors and brain cellular structures and the synthesis of glial cells and myelin .
Iron is known to be critical for neuronal differentiation and proliferation. Iron deficiency affects neural processes such as myelination, dendritic arborization and neural plasticity .
What Other Factors Can Lead To Vitamin D Deficiency
- Age: The skin’s ability to make vitamin D lessens with age.
- Mobility: People who are homebound or are rarely outside are not able to use sun exposure as a source of vitamin D.
- Skin color: Dark-colored skin is less able to make vitamin D than fair-colored skin.
- Human breast milk: A woman’s breast milk only contains a small amount of vitamin D. Often infant formulas also only include a small amount of D also. Therefore infants are at risk of not receiving enough vitamin D. This is especially true for infants who are only fed breast milk.
Clinical Evidence Of The Role Of Vitamins And Minerals On Physical Fatigue
When vitamins and minerals are supplied in adequate amounts to humans, their biochemical properties translate into normal physiological functions. When the supply is below requirements, frank deficiencies may occur, that manifest themselves with clinical symptoms. There is growing evidence that intermediate situations, often referred to as suboptimal or inadequate nutrient status, marginal deficiency or insufficiency may be associated with subclinical functional deficits and/or with enhanced risks of pathologies. Both clinical and subclinical deficiencies can be addressed by nutrient supplementation .
Why Is Vitamin D So Important
Vitamin D is one of many vitamins our bodies need to stay healthy. This vitamin has many functions, including:
- Keeping bones strong: Having healthy bones protects you from various conditions, including rickets. Rickets is a disorder that causes children to have bones that are weak and soft. It is caused by a lack of vitamin D in the body. You need vitamin D so that calcium and phosphorus can be used to build bones. In adults, having soft bones is a condition called osteomalacia.
- Absorbing calcium: Vitamin D, along with calcium, helps build bones and keep bones strong and healthy. Weak bones can lead to osteoporosis, the loss of bone density, which can lead to fractures. Vitamin D, once either taken orally or from sunshine exposure is then converted to an active form of the vitamin. It is that active form that promotes optimal absorption of calcium from your diet.
- Working with parathyroid glands: The parathyroid glands work minute to minute to balance the calcium in the blood by communicating with the kidneys, gut and skeleton. When there is sufficient calcium in the diet and sufficient active Vitamin D, dietary calcium is absorbed and put to good use throughout the body. If calcium intake is insufficient, or vitamin D is low, the parathyroid glands will borrow calcium from the skeleton in order to keep the blood calcium in the normal range.
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Basics On The Health Functions Of Vitamin D
Good news if youve been taking more socially distanced walks outside this summer: Vitamin D is produced in your body when the suns UVB rays hit your skin, according to Harvard Health Publishing. The vitamin is then processed by your liver, followed by your kidneys, so that its actively ready for your body to use.
This crucial vitamin is known as a key player in keeping your bones healthy, according to the Mayo Clinic. The reason? Your body only absorbs calcium, the main component of bones, when vitamin D is present.
And vitamin D helps with more than just bone health. According to the National Institutes of Health , your muscles need vitamin D to be able to move, and your immune system also needs vitamin D to fend off viruses and bacteria.
While getting a little sun is a great way to help you get your vitamin D, you can score some of the vitamin through food. Diet isnt the best source of vitamin D, but you can find it in foods such as egg yokes, mushrooms, and fatty fish like salmon and tuna. Also, vitamin D is often added to milk, breakfast cereals, and orange juice, the NIH notes, so check your food labels.
Supplementing your diet with vitamin D is another route to reach the NIH-recommended amount of 15 micrograms, or 600 international units , per day, for people ages 1 to 70. According to the NIH, you can find vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 supplements in the vitamin aisle, and both can raise the vitamin D level in your blood.
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Those Who Live Farther Away From The Equator
Countries close to the equator get plenty of sunlight all year round. Conversely, countries farther away from the equator get less sunlight all year round.
This can cause low blood vitamin D levels, especially during winter months when there is even less sunlight.
For instance, a study of Norwegians discovered that they dont produce much vitamin D3 from their skin during the winter months of October to March .
If you live far from the equator, then you need to get more vitamin D from your diet and supplements. Many experts believe that people in these countries should consume at least 1,000 IU daily .
Oxygen Transport Requires Iron And Vitamins B6 B9 And B12
Approximately two-thirds of the iron in the body is found in hemoglobin, a heme-containing protein concentrated in red blood cells. Heme iron is present in its ferrous state , enabling a reversible binding of oxygen. One hemoglobin molecule can thus transport four oxygen molecules, and as a result blood carries 5070 times more oxygen than would plasma alone. The vital role of hemoglobin is derived from the unique ability provided by iron to acquire oxygen rapidly during the transient period in contact with the lungs, and to release oxygen as needed during its circulation through the tissues . Myoglobin, another heme protein, allows the transport and short-term storage of oxygen in muscle cells, helping to match the supply of oxygen to the high demand of working muscles. Iron deficiency anemia reduces blood transport and supply of oxygen to muscle, impairing endurance capacity and energetic efficiency .
Metabolic and functional interactions of vitamins B9, B12 and B6.
Blood-borne oxygen transport in the blood depends on vitamin B6, as PLP is the cofactor of alpha-amino levulinate synthase, an enzyme needed for the synthesis of the porphyrin ring of hemoglobin. Chronic deficiency in vitamin B6 may trigger microcytic anemia, characterised by a low concentration of hemoglobin in erythrocytes .
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Health Benefits Of Vitamin D
We’ve covered bone health and its role in increasing calcium absorption, but there are a number of other benefits being researched. Aside from the obvious benefits of avoiding the health problems caused by Vitamin D deficiency there has, in recent years, been an increased interest in the other potential health benefits of Vitamin D3. There is evidence that Vitamin D could play a role in preventing/relieving a wide range of severe conditions:
There some evidence that Vitamin D reduces your risk of developing Multiple Sclerosis , and may also help reduce relapse in those with the disease . HeartDisease: studies have indicated that Vitamin D may help in decreasing your chance of developing heart disease .
Some studies suggest Vitamin D3 can reduce the risks of people developing flu . Parkinson’s: A 2013 study found that supplementing with Vitamin D3 may reduce deterioration in people with Parkinsons
A recent study suggests that there is a link between Vitamin D deficiency and cognitive decline
Several studies indicate that lower levels of Vitamin D3 are associated with higher risks of various cancers, including colorectal cancer and breast cancer .
There is ongoing research into cardiovascular disease and there has been found to be an association between low levels of vitamin D and increased risk of heart disease and hypertension.
Two Types Of Vitamin D
There are two basic types of vitamin D used in supplements.
Vitamin D2 is the form of vitamin D synthesized by plants, not animals. Its generally obtained from irradiated mushrooms for use in supplements. Youll often find less expensive vitamin D supplements containing the D2 form.
Vitamin D3 is the form of the vitamin your body naturally produces when exposed to sunshine. Vitamin D3 is generally obtained from lambs wool for use in supplements. While studies have shown that both D2 and D3 can raise blood levels of vitamin D to healthy levels, they have also shown that D3 does a far better jobmaintaining those levels than D2. For this reason, most nutritionists and other health experts recommend taking a vitamin D supplement containing D3.
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Its Very Individual How Much Sun Exposure A Person Needs Roberta Bivins
Its very individual how much sun exposure a person needs during summer, depending on the pigment in the skin to the amount of fat in the body and how quickly your body makes new bone. Its incredibly complicated, she says.
Thats why the best way to determine if you have low vitamin D is not by symptoms alone, but with a blood test arranged through your medic.
Then there is the question of exactly what level of supplementation people need. Reid says theres no danger in taking over-the-counter vitamin D of less than 25 nanomols per day.
US and Canada guidelines suggest taking 15 micrograms of vitamin D supplements each day, but some believe its not enough
But with supplements offering doses as high as 62.5 micrograms available over the counter, there are concerns around the risk of excessive vitamin D levels, which can, in rare cases, cause side effects, including nausea and vomiting. In the long term, some studies suggest too much vitamin D can increase risk of cardiovascular disease, although the research isnt conclusive.
But others argue that even more vitamin D is needed.
With such conflicting results, its unsurprising that medical experts themselves are deeply divided over the benefits of widespread supplementation. Some even argue that vested interests are propping up the billion-dollar vitamin industry, with Spector calling vitamin D supplements a pseudo-vitamin for a pseudo-disease.
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The Right Dosage Of Vitamin D For Weight Loss
Theres no magic dosage of vitamin D to aid weight loss rather, aim to reach an adequate level, which is greater than or equal to 20 nanograms per milliliter , per the NIH. If youre experiencing symptoms of vitamin D deficiency, request a blood test with your primary care doctor to find out if you would benefit from a supplement.
People with very low levels may need to take high doses of vitamin D for a period of time to get to normal levels, but taking high levels of vitamin D should only be done under a doctors guidance, McTiernan adds. If ramping up your vitamin D in a big way is something that interests you, definitely clear it with your entire healthcare team first.
Also know that if you are taking vitamin D supplements, the pills at a drugstore are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration before theyre marketed. The FDA suggests checking with the manufacturer about information to support the claims of the product to be sure youre getting quality supplements.
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The Interplay Of B Vitamins In Cellular Energy Production
All the B vitamins except folate are involved in at least one and often in several steps of the energy-production system within the cell . Adequate supply of each B vitamin is required for appropriate functioning of the energy-production system and a shortfall in any one of them will be rate limiting for energy production, with potentially severe metabolic and health consequences.
Vitamin B1 occurs in the body as free thiamine and as various phosphorylated forms, including thiamine pyrophosphate . TPP is involved in dehydrogenase reactions, which result in the decarboxylation of pyruvate and of branched-chain amino acids to form acetyl-CoA . Within the citric acid cycle, TPP supports the decarboxylation of alpha-ketoglutarate into succinyl-CoA .
Riboflavin is an integral part of the coenzymes flavin adenine dinucleotide and flavin mononucleotide , which are mandatory in the function of the flavoprotein enzymes. FAD and FMN act as proton carriers in redox reactions critical for the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins . FAD is involved in the production of acetyl-CoA from fatty acids via beta-oxidation, from glucose via the oxidative decarboxylation of pyruvate and from catabolism of branched amino acids . FAD is required in the citric acid cycle steps that produce succinyl-CoA from alpha-ketoglutarate and fumarate from succinate , and FADH2 acts as an electron donor in the electron transport chain .
B Vitamins For Energy Support
B vitamins play a vital role in cell metabolism and the formation of red blood cells. They also help your body to use and create energy from the foods you eat.
Research has clearly shown that B vitamins, like vitamin B6, vitamin B12, folic acid, thiamine and niacin support the energy metabolism process, says Andrew Shao, PhD, from the Council for Responsible Nutrition.
B vitamins affect how the body processes the nutrients we eat and how it converts them into energy. Symptoms of B vitamin deficiency include: fatigue, anemia, weakness, memory loss, and digestive problems.
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