There is no argument that fatigue is a highly distressing condition that can have undesirable effects on everyday life. However, there is no treatment for the fatigue itself, but rather, treatments depend on dealing with the underlying cause. As there are a myriad of possible causes for fatigue, appropriate treatment will differ depending on the sufferer, and whether or not vitamins work will also depend on why the person has fatigue in the first place. Keep reading to find out about vitamins and other nutrients for fatigue and when they are appropriate.
This vitamin will only help if your fatigue is caused by megaloblastic anemia, a medical condition characterized by a deficiency in this B vitamin. A person with this type of anemia will have abnormally formed red blood cells that are unable to function properly. For this reason, oxygen cannot be transported efficiently around the body, and fatigue results. However, if your fatigue is caused by something else, such as stress, this vitamin will not be the solution.
If you find yourself feeling abnormally tired after exercise, then you could benefit from a magnesium supplement or a dietary modification to include more magnesium-rich foods. Taking magnesium has been shown in studies to decrease the recovery time after physical activity, so if fatigue is not caused by a medical condition, this could prove to be an effective solution.
An iron supplement has been shown to be a good solution to the problem of fatigue for many people, but only if their fatigue is caused by iron deficiency anemia. However, as this condition is one of the leading causes of fatigue, then the chances are high that this mineral could be the solution for your fatigue. Iron deficiency anemia means that fewer red blood cells are produced, leading to a lack of oxygen getting to the major organs and energy centers in the body. A supplement or dietary change could solve this problem.
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a good solution for anybody who has fatigue, as it helps increase iron absorption and so it works as a general-purpose fatigue-reducer. For vitamin C to be really effective, it is best to take it alongside plenty of iron-rich foods, but studies have also shown that vitamin C on its own reduces symptoms of fatigue.
The overwhelming evidence from various studies is that vitamins are often an excellent solution for fatigue, and few would disagree with this. However, the types of vitamins that are helpful depend entirely on the sufferer and why they have fatigue in the first place. In order to make vitamins work best for you, it would be advisable to first visit a doctor to find out the causes behind your condition. Read about diet tips to reduce fatigue.
- Cox, I.M. , Campbell, M.J. & Dowson, D. (1991). Red blood cell magnesium and chronic fatigue syndrome. Lancet, 337(8744), 757-760. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1672392
- National Health Service UK. (2013). Chronic fatigue syndrome - Treatment. Retrieved December 3, 2014, from http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Chronic-fatigue-syndrome/Pages/Treatment.aspx
- National Institutes of Health. (2014). Herbal remedies and supplements for weight loss. Retrieved December 3, 2014, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/patientinstructions/000347.htm
- National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. (2010). What Is Iron-Deficiency Anemia? Retrieved December 3, 2014, from http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/ida/printall-index.html
- Office of Dietary Supplements. (2011). Vitamin B12: Fact Sheet for Consumers. Retrieved December 3, 2014, from http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB12-Consumer/
- U.S. Department of Agriculture. (2014). Lack Energy? Maybe It's Your Magnesium Level. Retrieved December 3, 2014, from http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/may04/energy0504.htm?pf=1