Vitamin D Deficiency and Frequent Headaches/Ashwagandha and Muscle Building/Veiwing

Vitamin D Deficiency and Frequent Headaches

A new study looked at 2600 Finnish men, aged 42-60 years, who were participating in the population-based Kuopio Ischemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study (KIHD), based in eastern Finland. Since this study was already monitoring their vitamin D levels, some researchers decided to see if there was a link between frequent headaches and vitamin D deficiency.

Indeed, those men who had the lowest serum levels of vitamin D were much more likely to suffer from frequent headaches in comparison to those with the highest circulating vitamin D levels.

“After adjusting for age and year and month of blood draw, patients with recurring headaches had an average serum 25(OH)D concentration of was 38.3 nmol/L, while patients no headache complaints had an average of 43.9 nmol/L.”

When we convert this 43.9 nmol/L measurement to the more frequently referenced ng/ml, the result is 17.56 ng/ml, and most experts on vitamin D suggest that we ideally have levels between 40 and 60 ng/ml. So, based on current research (available in our free Vitamin D – E book), even those in this study who had optimal levels of vitamin D for preventing headaches, were still low by the standards of vitamin D experts.

“Low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D is associated with higher risk of frequent headache in middle-aged and older men.” Jyrki K. Virtanen, et al. Scientific Reports 7, Article number: 39697 (2017)  (Study)

Ashwagandha and Muscle Building

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is one of the most commonly used herbs in Ayurvedic medicine, and is becoming more and more popular in the West. In 2015 a study was conducted to examine the effects of ashwagandha on muscle mass and strength, in healthy young men engaged in resistance training.

The 57 men in this study were given either a placebo or 300mg of ashwagandha root extract, twice a day for 8 weeks, during which they did a resistance training program. After the 8 weeks, measurements indicated that upper body strength had improved significantly more in the ashwagandha group.

While the group that received the placebo increased their bench press by 26.4 kg, the ashwagandha group increased theirs by 46 kg; the placebo group increased their leg extensions by 9.8 kg and the ashwagandha group saw an increase of 14.5 kg; the placebo group increased their arm muscles by 5.3 cm, and the ashwagandha group increased theirs by 8.6cm; and the chest muscles were 1.4cm larger in the placebo group but 3.3cm larger in the group receiving ashwagandha. Ashwagandha also improved muscle recovery time better than placebo, and significantly reduced muscle damage.

Now might be a good time to point out that NutriStart’s Adrenal Start product provides 500mg of ashwagandha extract in a daily serving, which is close to the 600mg of extract used in the above study. Considering that Adrenal Start also contain other adaptogenic herbs with a track record of helping athletic performance (Siberian Ginseng and Rhodiola), and that one can safely take more than the recommended 4 caps daily if desired, I have no doubt that Adrenal Start could be used to improve resistance training to the same degree as this study has indicated.

J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2015 Nov 25;12:43. “Examining the effect of Withania somnifera supplementation on muscle strength and recovery: a randomized controlled trial.” Wankhede S, et al.  (Study)


Dr.Michael Greger, the author of “How Not To Die”, offers a wealth of natural healing information on his website Here is one of his videos on the dangers of cholesterol-lowering medications. This video was released in March 2012, on the heels of new FDA warnings that had to be included with statin drugs. The drug companies were now required to include warnings citing risks of confusion, memory loss, new onset diabetes, and muscle injury. In this video Dr Greger also points out that even people who don’t experience pain or weakness on cholesterol-lowering drugs may be suffering muscle damage.

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