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Physical Health - Can Vitamin D Help?

Posted Sep 29 2008 11:55pm
New evidence was announced that those who live with chronic pain may be able to lessen their pain by getting more vitamin D. It's seems to be a bit of a catch-22, because often it's the sun that gives us that extra "D" boost, and yet, with the medications we are on, we are told to avoid the sun.

The information presented says, "The study also showed that low levels of vitamin D have no connection to chronic widespread pain in men." But it does in women.

An article from web MD in 2003 says

In a study involving 150 children and adults with unexplained muscle and bone pain, almost all were found to be vitamin D deficient; many were severely deficient with extremely low levels of vitamin D in their bodies.

Humans tend to get most of their vitamin D from exposure to sunlight, so those who avoid the sun completely or who always wear sunscreen to protect themselves against skin cancers are at risk for vitamin D deficiencies, says Michael Holick, MD. Holick runs the Vitamin D Research Lab at Boston University Medical Center.

"I think the current message that all unprotected sun exposure is bad for you is too extreme," he tells WebMD. "The original message was that people should limit their sun exposure, not that they should avoid the sun entirely. I do believe that some unprotected exposure to the sun is important for health."

The new study says,

Researchers found that women with adequate amount of vitamin D had lowest level of pain. According to medical science, vitamin D levels between 75 and 99 mmol/litre are necessary for bone health. The study showed that only 8 percent women had adequate vitamin D levels. However 14.4 percent women had 25 mmol/litre vitamin D levels. These women reported chronic pains.

Researchers said their study indicated that in women, vitamin D levels could play a role in some cases of chronic pain. They added that women with vitamin D deficiency should take extra early dose of vitamin D during chronic pains. Researchers added that more research is needed to evaluate the reason behind the connection of vitamin D deficiency to chronic pain.

It always comes down to doing your own research and deciding what is best for you, while consulting a doctor for his or her opinion. The Vitamin D Council and the Vitamin D Society (who knew?) are good places to start.
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