Tired and weak but can’t seem to figure out why? If so, you’ll want to read this.
You’re getting enough sleep and eating a balanced diet, but you still need that extra cup of coffee to get you through the day. Maybe your doctor has told you that you’re anemic. However, your blood levels of iron, vitamin B12, and even your hormones are all in range, so what’s going on?
The cause of your fatigue might be simpler than you thought — a lack of vitamin D.
Most people associate anemia (low production of red blood cells) with low blood levels of iron and vitamin B12, but recent research shows that low vitamin D might play a role as well.
Anemia makes you feel lethargic because you’re not getting enough oxygen to your tissues, but why are you anemic?
Research Links Low Vitamin D to Anemia
As mentioned, anemia is usually caused by low iron, low vitamin B12 or both. But there are mysterious cases of low red blood cell numbers with normal iron and B12 levels. These confounding cases have prompted researchers to look for other causes, like low vitamin D.
To piece together this relationship, researchers decided to take a deeper look at National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES) data associating vitamin D and anemia among 5,456 adults.
Researchers concluded that low vitamin D levels are strongly linked to anemia. The reason for this may be that without enough vitamin D, the body can’t produce red blood cells. Also, low vitamin D causes increased inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation is a major cause of illnesses and health issues!
In this dataset, the average vitamin D blood level was 23.5 ng/mL, which is far below what has been shown to be the ideal blood level of 50–80 ng/mL. This low blood vitamin D average is surprising knowing that most of these people were struggling with anemia.
Why You Should Supplement With Vitamin D
If you’re anemic and can’t figure out why, you should take vitamin D. Also, even if you’re not anemic and don’t feel like anything is wrong with you, it’s likely that you should still take vitamin D.
Most of us are deficient in this important vitamin and are unaware. Although we get vitamin D from sun exposure, the amount that is actually produced isn’t always enough. In fact, many people who live in sunny states like Florida and California have low vitamin D levels!
How Much Vitamin D Do You Need?
The amount of vitamin D needed varies from person to person. To figure out your personal dose of vitamin D, get tested. But a nice ball park figure is around 5,000 IU every day.
The Bottom Line
We’re not saying that vitamin D is the answer for every person who’s struggling with low energy. Keep in mind that numerous other causes besides lack of vitamin D may be the culprit. However, we wanted to inform you of this important new research so you can make sure that vitamin D is one of the factors you assess.
Since adequate vitamin D is crucial for so many aspects of health such as bones, heart, and immunity, even if you’re not anemic, it’s a really good idea to make sure you’re getting enough.