Treating severe vitamin D deficiency

Solar Power

Here’s a new spin on the term “solar power” for you…

A team of researchers recently looked at a dozen people with severe vitamin D deficiency. They used an MRI to evaluate how long it took subjects’ calf muscles to recover after exercise, both before and after D supplementation.

Results showed that muscle efficiency and recovery time improved significantly after just 10 to 12 weeks of supplementing with D. And this increase was paired with a corresponding decline in fatigue symptoms.

So what’s the takeaway here? It means that anyone trying to maximize endurance and get strong–the athletic and elderly alike–would do well to get a little more vitamin D.

With summer right around the corner, this should be easier than ever. Just be sure to get at least 20 minutes of mid-day sunshine–with no sunscreen and plenty of bare skin–every day.

Of course, when in doubt, supplement. I always recommend that my patients take at least 2,000 IU of D3 daily… and even more if you don’t get outside much.

“Improving the vitamin D status of vitamin D deficient adults is associated with improved mitochondrial oxidative function in skeletal muscle.” J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013 Mar;98(3):E509-13. doi: 10.1210/jc.2012-3592. Epub 2013 Feb 7.