I have no idea whether this might be of relevance in ME/CFS.
New evidence presented at the European Congress of Endocrinology in Prague last month has shown that vitamin D deficiency is closely associated with the chronic fatigue that often follows post-traumatic brain injury (TBI).
In the European Union, the annual incidence of TBI hospitalisations and fatalities is estimated at 235 per 100,000 people. Around two-thirds of post-TBI patients go on to suffer chronic fatigue. Now a group of researchers in the Netherlands have linked vitamin D deficiency to chronic fatigue in post-TBI sufferers.
The group, led by Dr Jessica Schnieders from Rijnstate Hospital in Arnham, looked at vitamin D and hormone levels in 90 fatigued and non-fatigued subjects. They also systematically evaluated pituitary hormones and factors such as sleep, attention, emotional well-being, quality of life, coping style and daily activity. They found that 51 per cent of TBI patients were severely fatigued ten years after the trauma. Vitamin D deficiency was present in 65 per cent of post-TBI patients and significantly related with fatigue (P<0.05), with patients who suffered from fatigue more likely to be deficient. The group also found a higher incidence of growth hormone and sex hormone deficiency in the fatigued group, but they found no evidence that these deficiencies contributed to the fatigue.
This work opens the possibility that correcting the vitamin D deficiency might help to reduce some of the chronic fatigue in TBI patients. However, as vitamin D levels in the body are affected by diet and time spent in the sunshine, further studies are now needed to confirm whether low vitamin D levels are a cause of the fatigue or whether they are a consequence of altered lifestyle led due to suffering from fatigue.