Monday, June 23, 2008

Wham: Vitamin D for Aches and Pains?

According to an extensive review of clinical research on Vitamin D, a new report in Pain Treatment Topics says that inadequate vitamin D intake has been linked to a long list of chronic painful maladies, including bone and joint pain of various types, muscle pain, fibromyalgia syndrome, rheumatic disorders, osteoarthritis, and other complaints. Lack of vitamin D also has been implicated in the mood disturbances of chronic fatigue syndrome and seasonal affective disorder.

Pain is the most common complaint leading patients to seek medical care and much of it is chronic, lasting 3 months or longer. It now appears that a lot of this could be due to chronic Vitamin D shortages.

According to Dr. Stewart B. Leavitt, MA, PhD, editor and author of the report, “our examination of the research, including 22 clinical investigations of patients with various chronic pain and fatigue syndromes, found that these persons almost always had inadequate levels of vitamin D. When sufficient vitamin D supplementation was provided, the aches, pains, weakness, and related problems in most of them either vanished or were at least helped to a significant extent.”

This report is entitled “Vitamin D – A Neglected ‘Analgesic’ for Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain,” and it was peer-reviewed by a panel of 8 experts. While many close-minded doctors may say this is "kookie medicine," it resonated with my own personal experience.

The following important points were a part of this article:

>> Vitamin D is a complex nutrient that functions as a hormone to benefit numerous body tissues and organs, including bones, muscles, and nerves.

>> A surprising majority of persons in many parts of the world, including the United States, do not get adequate vitamin D from sun exposure or foods. Why such deficiencies are associated with pain in some persons but not others is not always known.

>> The currently recommended adequate intake of vitamin D – up to 600 IU per day – is outdated and too low. According to the research, most children and adults need at least 1000 IU per day, and persons with chronic musculoskeletal pain would benefit from 2000 IU or more per day of supplemental vitamin D3 (also called cholecalciferol).

>> Vitamin D supplements have a highly favorable safety profile. They interact with very few drugs or other agents, and are usually not harmful unless extremely high doses – such as, 50,000 IU or more – are taken daily for an extended period of time.

>> Vitamin D supplements are easy for patients to self-administer, are well tolerated, and typically cost as little as 7 to 10 cents per day.


1 comment:

Dave Jensen said...

Here's another brief press clip about Vitamin D from today:

Vitamin D - A Surprising Champion of Back Pain Relief, Report Says -- An extra daily dose of vitamin D can help to relieve chronic back pain for many sufferers. A new peer-reviewed research report from tells how, by reviewing the clinical evidence and providing helpful guidance for practitioners and their patients."