Vitamin D

In a June 2008 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, Austrian researchers checked vitamin D levels in blood tests from more than 3,200 male and female heart patients whose average age was 62. Blood tests were conducted frequently for more than eight years.

 

Results confirmed the potential danger of vitamin D deficiency. Subjects with the lowest D levels were significantly more likely to die of any cause over the study period. And even when researchers excluded patients with serious heart risk factors, they found that vitamin D deficient subjects were more likely to die of heart-related complications.

 

Another D study – published within days of the Austrian research – offers very promising results for anyone who experiences chronic pain.

 

In the June 2008 issue of Pain Treatment Topics, editor Stewart B. Leavitt, Ph.D., reports on a meta-analysis of more than 20 studies that included patients with osteoarthritis, muscle pain, joint pain, bone pain, fibromyalgia, and other chronic pain conditions. Dr. Leavitt reports that most of these patients had insufficient D levels.

 

Here are three key points Dr. Leavitt uses to summarize his findings:

  • “While further research is needed, current evidence demonstrates that supplemental vitamin D can help to resolve or alleviate chronic pain and fatigue syndromes in many patients who have been unresponsive to other therapies.”
  • “A 2400 IU to 2800 IU per day supplement of vitamin D3 is proposed as being helpful for patients with chronic nonspecific bone and joint pains and related muscle pain or weakness.”
  • “Vitamin D therapy is easy for patients to self-administer, well tolerated, and very economical. Other therapies need not be discontinued during a trial of vitamin D ‘analgesia.'”