Monday, January 5, 2009
Some scientists believe that Low levels of the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D, may contribute to chronic pain in women. The link does not apply to men, suggesting that hormones may be involved, according to a study published in the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases.
It seems that about 1 in 10 people are affected by chronic pain The causes are not well understood and much of the focus to date has been on emotional factors, however, some researchers believe that, vitamin D levels could play a role in some cases of chronic pain.
Vitamin D sometimes known as the sunshine vitamin is essential for healthy bones. It is produced in the body when exposed to sunlight and is also found in oily fish, egg yolks and margarine.
Of the 7,000 men and women aged 45 studied, those who were smokers, non-drinkers, the overweight and the underweight all reported higher rates of chronic pain.
Among the women, vitamin D levels also appeared to be important.
Women with vitamin D levels between 75 and 99 mmol/litre - a level deemed necessary for bone health - had the lowest rates of this type of pain, at just over 8%.
Women with levels of less than 25 mmol/litre had the highest rates, at 14.4%.
The findings suggest that more research is needed to fully evaluate whether vitamin D supplements could help prevent chronic pain.
In the meantime, if you have chronic pain it wouldn’t hurt to get out in the sun a bit more to boost your natural vitamin D levels. Most people should be able to get all the vitamin D they need from their diet and by adding 30 minutes of sunshine to their daily schedule.
Photo by Cardinal Delos Reyes