Dr. David Brownstein,  editor of Dr. David Brownstein’s Natural Way to Health newsletter, is a board-certified family physician and one of the nation’s foremost practitioners of holistic medicine. Dr. Brownstein has lectured internationally to physicians and others about his success with natural hormones and nutritional therapies in his practice. His books include Drugs That Don’t Work and Natural Therapies That Do!; Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It; Salt Your Way To Health; The Miracle of Natural Hormones; Overcoming Arthritis, Overcoming Thyroid Disorders; The Guide to a Gluten-Free Diet; and The Guide to Healthy Eating. He is the medical director of the Center for Holistic Medicine in West Bloomfield, Mich., where he lives with his wife, Allison, and their teenage daughters, Hailey and Jessica.

Tags: winter | fatigue | lack | vitamin D | David Brownstein | sunshine

Wintertime Fatigue

By
Monday, 23 Jan 2012 09:49 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Question: Why do I get tired every winter?

Dr. Brownstein's Answer:

The body makes vitamin D when it is exposed to the sun, so during the winter we get less of the “sunshine” vitamin. During the colder months, our levels of vitamin D can fall by more than 50 percent in the northern climates. Even in the South, the sun is not as strong in the winter and vitamin D levels can fall.

I recommend checking your vitamin D levels because if they are low, that could be contributing to your fatigue. Vitamin D is also important for bone health because it helps the body absorb calcium. If levels are below 50 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dl), supplementing is a must. My experience is that 2,000 to 5,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D a day is a safe and effective dose for most people.

You can periodically check your levels (known as the 25-hydroxy D3 levels) to ensure you are not taking too much. Adequate levels of vitamin D range from 70 to 100 ng/dl. A good source of vitamin D is Carlson’s cod liver oil (1.5 teaspoons per day) or Bio-D-Mulsion Forte available from Viotron at (800) 437-1298.



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Excessive fatigue in the winter may be caused by a lack of vitamin D, the "sunshine" vitamin, according to Dr. David Brownstein.
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