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Longer Days Equals Less Pain

picture-of-a-sun-01Sunlight exposure more specifically ultraviolet light is a necessary component for our bodies to manufacture vitamin D, and with longer days there can be increased levels of Vitamin D production in our bodies depending on exposure, however vitamin D deficiency is actually common worldwide believe it or not.

Vitamin D deficient patients are more likely to have fibromyalgia like pain, low back pain, and joint pain. In a recent study vitamin D deficient patients were treated with 50,000 oral units of vitamin D3 supplement also known as “sunshine in a bottle” per day for 12 weeks. The outcome was amazing. 85.5% of those patients reported 60% less pain.

We are just beginning to scratch the surface as to the multitude of beneficial effects of Vitamin D and evidence that it reduces the risk of many types of disease is increasing exponentially.

In 2011, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) reviewed the evidence for beneficial effects of Vitamin D for skeletal health and set the daily-recommended intake of Vitamin D at 600-800 IU’s (International Units) for most children and a daily intake of 4,000 IU’s for adults. Many researchers suggest much higher amounts and criticized the Institute of Medicine’s recommendations as being too conservative.

Vitamin D also plays a vital role in cancer rates. Approximately 3000 research studies have been published in biomedical journals investigating the inverse association between vitamin D, and cancer, including 275 epidemiological studies according to a PubMed search. Most of these studies show a relationship between high levels of vitamin D and reduced cancer rates. Both sun exposure and supplementation appear to be effective. High sun exposure essentially reduces both the incidence of and mortality from breast and prostate cancers. In another study consuming 2000 IU’s per day would lead to a 25% reduction in the incidence of breast cancer and 27% reduction in the incidence of colorectal cancer in North America.

The National Academy of Sciences-Institute of Medicine recommended adequate intake of vitamin D3 should be revised upward to 4,000 IU’s per day. This would substantially reduce the incidence of cancer and there are no consistently established adverse effects of vitamin D3 intake in the range below 4000 IU’s. Some vitamin D scientists and physicians recommend a higher upper limit of 10,000 IU’s per day.

In another study looking at the effect of vitamin D supplementation on pain there were 3,436 participants (1,780 on vitamin D3 supplementation and 1,656 on placebo) The participants on vitamin D3 supplementation reported a significant decrease in pain, and the results suggest that vitamin D3 supplementation could have a role in the management of most types of chronic pain.
If you want to know your serum blood level of vitamin D talk to your physician. In addition, vitamin D3 supplementation is considerably less expensive than other forms of supplements and comes in capsules as well as a liquid form in a dropper.

If you have any questions about Vitamin D, Vitamin D3 supplementation or where you can find Vitamin D3 “sunshine in a bottle” please contact my office.

- Dr. Earl J. Roth, D.C., F.I.C.P.A.

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