As you know, Vitamin D is the nutrient made by the skin when it is exposed to sunlight. It is also a fairly easy nutrient to add via supplementation.
British researchers who studied nearly 7000 45-year-olds found that almost 15% of women with vitamin D shortages reported experiencing chronic pain - nearly twice the 8.2% prevalence reported among women with higher readings.
This wasn't true with men, however. Oddly, vitamin D levels appeared to make no difference in the number of men who reported pain symptoms.
Further studies are required to establish whether pain would be lessened if patients increased their vitamin D intake, but it is a relatively easy step for physicians to suggest more D to their chronic pain patients when tests show their levels of the nutrient are low.
This study was published recently in the journal Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. The authors included medical data from 6824 persons who were examined between 2002 and 2004, when they were at age 45. Information was collected on their smoking and alcohol habits, time spent outdoors, time spent watching television or at a computer and dietary supplements, including vitamin D.