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The Effect Of Vitamins For Fatigue On Your Overall Health

An image of a woman holding a bottle of vitaminsDo you feel tired all the time?  Is there a feeling of a burden as the day progresses? Do you feel excessively tired after a moderate amount of exercise? These are all the presentations of an ongoing health condition that manifests as fatigue. When you feel that fatigue is impacting your quality of life, then you need to find solutions. Vitamins and supplements are excellent remedies that you can use to overcome fatigue. Let's talk about the essential vitamins for fatigue and how they benefit your health.

How Vitamins for Fatigue Work

Vitamins for fatigue boost your energy levels and diminish fatigue. They increase the resistance of your body against stress. Stress can occur in the form of emotional distress involving anxiety and fear. The hassle of everyday life, exposure to infections, or injuries pose additional stress on your body. The vitamins for fatigue act by lowering the effect of NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) stress response. The NEM system is your body’s method of dealing with stress. There are six circuits of organs and systems in the NEM stress response that work together against stress. These circuits include the Hormone, Bioenergetics, Detoxification, Inflammation, Cardionomic, and Neuroaffect. However, the adrenal glands are the first responders to stress and endure the maximum burden, although all six circuits are involved in the stress response. The main pathway involved the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis.

The Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) Axis

The HPA hormone axis is the main pathway through which your body sends stress messages to the brain that responds by the release of neurotransmitters and hormones that act on the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands are the chief regulators of stress outside the central nervous system. When the stress is acute, there is an increase in the cortisol levels as the adrenals release more anti-stress hormones to restore your normal bodily functions. As chronic stress continues, the adrenals become overworked and the hormonal output becomes unbalanced. The cortisol production eventually falls after the peak is attained and the adrenals now are unable to cope up with the cortisol requirement. This situation manifests as generalized fatigue and is commonly called as Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS).

Adrenal fatigue involves reduced energy levels and decreased muscle strength.  It is a complex nonspecific clinical condition characterized by difficulty in starting or maintaining voluntary activities, an overwhelming feeling of tiredness at rest, and exhaustion with activity. There is a lack of energy that impairs daily tasks, with loss of endurance and vigor. It may be accompanied by cognitive impairment, changes in memory, anxiety, depression, brain fog, changes in blood pressure, and weight.

Exploring Vitamins for Fatigue

An image of a bottle of supplements with some healthy foods beside itThe vitamins for fatigue include vitamin B complex, vitamin D, and vitamin C. Also, minerals such as iron, magnesium, zinc, and compounds such as coenzyme q10, creatine, l-theanine work in conjunction with these vitamins. Moreover, herbs such as Ashwagandha and Rhodiola Rosea are also excellent remedies for fatigue.

Vitamin B Complex

The vitamins in the B complex group increase your energy levels. These vitamins for fatigue work in collaboration with each other to regulate bodily metabolism. They facilitate restoring the chemical reactions involved in the production of energy. Vitamin B1 helps the body metabolize fats and produce energy.  Similarly, vitamin B2 and B3 act as antioxidants and scavenge the free radicals. Vitamin B5 and B7 act as a cofactor of enzymes involved in metabolism. Vitamin B12 acts as an energy enhancer that increases athletic performance and endurance. It has a function in the formation of red blood cells that transport oxygen to various parts of the body.

Tryptophan is a precursor of melatonin, vitamin B3, and serotonin (the happy hormone). These help you to recover from fatigue and promote sleep. Likewise, vitamin B12 also promotes neurological function. The deficiency of Vitamin B12 leads to anemia, particularly in vegans since vitamin B12 is found in animal-based products. If you have adrenal fatigue, you have to be careful of being overstimulated even on B vitamins because you could have paradoxical reactions from being sensitive to many types of supplements. Always consult a provider before starting vitamins.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is one of the essential vitamins for fatigue and you require it at all ages. Researchers demonstrated that management with vitamin D increased the metabolic processes in muscles responsible for contraction of the muscles and smooth movement. Moreover, evidence has also shown lower levels of vitamin D in older adults with fatigue as compared with those without fatigue. The deficiency of vitamin D has been associated with musculoskeletal pain, chronic pain, low back pain, bone disorders, muscle weakness, immune dysfunction, daytime sleepiness, and adrenal fatigue.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C has a well-established role in regulating immunity. Also, it is one of the vitamins for fatigue. Researchers have suggested a modest benefit of vitamin C supplementation for enhancing weekly activity levels in young men. There is a link between vitamin C status and physical activity and associated preclinical vitamin C deficiency with fatigue.

Vitamin C is also a key cofactor needed to make all the adrenal hormones, therefore one of the most important vitamins to take. There are many delivery types and doses, so be sure to ask your provider about which type is best for absorption. Depending on how sensitive your body is, you may have a paradoxical reaction to vitamin C that could crash your body instead of giving it energy. This is why it is important to seek an experienced health professional who can help guide you in your adrenal fatigue recovery process.

Iron

An image of a chalkboard with word iron surrounded by iron rich foodsIron acts in collaboration with vitamins for fatigue to protect you from fatigue. It is necessary for metabolic processes at cellular levels and the production of hemoglobin. When iron losses exceed dietary iron absorption, your iron stores show a decrease. This leads to defective hemoglobin production and reduced red blood cell hemoglobin content. Menstruating females, pregnant or breastfeeding women, blood donors, and vegans are the candidates for iron deficiency. In men, diet, excessive exercise, stress may decrease the iron levels.

Researchers showed that iron supplementation was associated with reduced self-reported fatigue, significantly increased serum hemoglobin and ferritin concentration. Vitamin C increases the absorption of iron into your bloodstream, therefore you should consume sufficient fruits and vegetables, particularly citrus fruits and leafy greens. However, beware that one of the most common side effects of iron is constipation.

Magnesium and Zinc

You can use magnesium and zinc as a fatigue and stress recovery aid along with vitamins for fatigue. While magnesium plays a vital role in numerous biochemical processes in your body such as energy production, muscle contraction, protein formation, and nervous system function, zinc is involved with the activity of several enzymes in energy metabolism. Researchers revealed that stress and fatigue are significantly lowered by the intake of a food supplement with probiotics, magnesium, vitamins, and minerals. Vitamin B6 used in combination with zinc and magnesium helps in better absorption of the minerals. You can use this combination as a sleep aid to get relief from fatigue. Beware that some sensitive sufferers might also get paradoxical reactions to magnesium. Zinc can also be stimulating if taken long term.

Coenzyme 10

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is an enzyme that is naturally found in your body, mainly in the heart, liver, pancreas, and kidneys. It is an antioxidant that improves energy and enhances your immunity. Researchers revealed the beneficial action of Coenzyme Q10 in patients with heart conditions, blood pressure issues, and several inflammatory conditions. You produce CoQ10 naturally in your body, however, the ability to do so naturally decreases with age. Therefore, thinking of taking a CoQ10 supplement, particularly later in life is a good idea.

Creatine

Creatine phosphate is a naturally occurring molecule in the human body. It replenishes your energy stores during rapid activity and protects you from fatigue. Creatine supplementation is used to boost the characteristics of physical performance, most commonly strength and power activities. Several researchers have concluded that creatine supplementation improves maximum strength, total work capacity, and lean body mass. Electrolytes such as magnesium, sodium, potassium are transporters used to facilitate  the absorption and utilization of creatine by your body. Besides, vitamin D also promotes the action of creatine.

L-theanine

L-theanine is an amino acid present in tea. A combination of L-theanine and caffeine decreases mental fatigue and increases focus on tasks. Researchers have shown outstanding beneficial results on cognitive function in healthy young adults after treatment with a combination of energy bars containing caffeine and L-theanine. Caffeine increases alertness or arousal and the performance on attention tasks; L-theanine increases vigilance on a rapid processing task, reaction time, and working memory. Therefore, you can perform tasks that require mental attention without fatigue.

Herbs

Herbs classified as adaptogens increase the energy levels in your body. They buffer the physical, mental, and emotional stress on you, restoring the balance of your body. These include Ashwagandha and Rhodiola Rosea.

Ashwagandha means the smell of a horse, indicating that the consumption would increase your strength and vitality similar to a horse. Also, it is a multipurpose herb that acts on several systems of the human body such as the neurological system, the immune system, the energy-production system, the endocrine system, and the reproductive system. Researchers have shown that Ashwagandha root extract effectively improves a person’s resistance towards stress, revitalizing the self-assessed quality of life. Similarly, researchers have demonstrated the use of Rhodiola Rosea to increase your alertness, mood, and decrease fatigue. Beware of taking adaptogens at the late stages of adrenal fatigue because it could backfire and make your adrenals work harder than it wants to. Also, you should consult an experienced practitioner before starting herbs.

Sources of Vitamins for Fatigue

An image of human hands holding supplementsYou can correct the dysfunctional body system by supplementation of vitamins for fatigue. This involves properly fortifying your body with whole foods, healthy fats, nuts and seeds, beans, good-quality proteins, vitamins, and minerals, that will aid you in recovering from adrenal fatigue. Moreover, you will also have to cut down on processed food, excessive sugar, alcohol, coffee, and other junk food. Furthermore, the dietary sources for vitamins for fatigue include:

  • B1 (thiamin):  lean meats, nuts, seeds, and whole grains
  • B2 (riboflavin):  milk and other dairy products, green leafy vegetables
  • B3 (niacin):  legumes, fish, poultry
  • B5 (pantothenic acid): broccoli, sweet and white potatoes, mushrooms
  • B6 (pyridoxine): avocado, banana, nuts
  • B7 (biotin): pork, nuts, semi-sweet chocolate
  • B9 (folate):  beets, lentils, peanut butter
  • B12 (cobalamin): shellfish, eggs, milk
  • C: citrus fruits, strawberries, brussels sprouts
  • D: fatty fish such as salmon, fortified milk, and dairy products
  • Iron: dark leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, pumpkin seeds, dried apricots, tofu
  • Magnesium: spinach, legumes, almonds, avocado, banana
  • Zinc: beans, chickpeas, poultry
  • CoQ10 : meat, particularly organ meats, as well as fish and peanuts

Before you make changes to your diet, it is advisable to consult your medical professional.

Conclusion

To sum up, you can do some things to restore your health in case you are bothered by fatigue:

  • Make lifestyle changes which include reduction of stress and inclusion of an exercise regime.
  • Making changes in your diet.
  • Discovering the role of vitamins for fatigue.

No matter what plan of action you decide to take, please seek advice from your healthcare practitioner. This professional will assess your particular situation and advise which vitamins and supplements are right for you.

If you have questions about vitamins for fatigue, you can contact the Dr. Lam Coaching team. We can offer you a free** no-obligation phone consultation at +1-626-571-1234 where we will privately discuss your symptoms and what your options are. You can also send us a question through our Ask The Doctor system by clicking here.

© Copyright 2021 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.

Dr. Lam’s Key Question

The vitamins for fatigue work by addressing the underlying mechanisms that lead to pervasive or chronic fatigue. These vitamins act by lowering the effect of the NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) stress response. These supplements also act as antioxidants and give protection to your vital organs.

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