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Research suggests Vitamin D deficiency and muscle fatigue link.

VITAMIN D may be linked to muscle efficiency and could improve skeletal muscle function, according to new research.

The findings may explain the physical fatigue commonly experienced by patients with vitamin D deficiency, with broad implications for a large section of society.

Vitamin D is a hormone produced in the skin using energy from sunlight. Vitamin D deficiency is a significant public health problem as diagnosed cases are on the rise and the hormone is essential for good bone health.

Alongside poor bone health, muscle fatigue is a common symptom in vitamin D deficient patients.

This fatigue could be due to a problem in the mitochondria: the "power stations" within each cell of the body.

Mitochondria use glucose and oxygen to make energy in a form that can be used to run the cell (an energy-rich molecule called ATP).

Muscle cells need large amounts of ATP for movement and they use phosphocreatine as a ready and available energy source to make ATP.

The mitochondria also replenish this phosphocreatine store after muscle contraction.

Researchers investigated phosphocreatine recovery times in patients with vitamin D deficiency. The team found that phosphocreatine recovery significantly improved after the patients took a fixed dose of oral vitamin D for 10 to 12 weeks.

All patients reported an improvement in symptoms of fatigue following supplementation.

Study leader Dr Akash Sinha said: "This is the first time a link has been shown between vitamin D status and muscle aerobic function. To do so we used a non-invasive scan to get a unique biochemical perspective on muscle mitochondrial metabolism during exercise: a window into what is really going on in the muscle as it works "Patients with vitamin D deficiency often experience symptoms of muscle fatigue. Our findings in a small group of patients with very low vitamin D levels show muscle efficiency significantly improves when vitamin D status is improved."
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Mar 18, 2013
Words:312
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