Vitamin D supplements may help manage pain

May 25 2017

Vitamin D supplements, combined with good sleeping habits, could help manage pain-related conditions including fibromyalgia, arthritis, menstrual cramps and chronic back pain, says a study.

The findings, published in the Journal of Endocrinology, suggest that vitamin D supplements combined with good sleep quality could increase the effectiveness of pain management treatments. Previously published studies have shown that vitamin D can affect the body's inflammatory response, which also alters pain sensation. This simple approach, if effective, could reduce the burden on health services and improve the lives of patients, the researchers said. "The research is very exciting and novel. We are unravelling the possible mechanisms of how vitamin D is involved in many complex processes, including what this review shows -- that a good night's sleep and normal levels of vitamin D could be an effective way to manage pain," said Sof Andrikopoulos, Assistant Professor at University of Melbourne in Australia. For the study, the team conducted reviews of the most relevant studies that have examined the role of vitamin D in pain-related conditions or sleep disturbances. The results indicate that vitamin D levels may have an important role in the relationship between pain and sleep. "It is necessary to understand the possible mechanisms involved in this relationship, including immunological and neurobiological pathways related to inter-relationship among sleep, vitamin D and pain," added Monica Levy Andersen from Universidade Federal de Sao Paulo in Brazil.