(NaturalNews) People who are vitamin D deficient are more likely to suffer from chronic pain and fatigue, and those with the conditions may improve or even recover entirely when treated with vitamin D supplementation, according to a new study.
Researchers analyzed 22 clinical studies of patients with various kinds of chronic fatigue and pain, repeatedly finding that the conditions were correlated with vitamin D deficiency. Between 48 and 100 percent of those who had back pain, for example, had less than the 20 nanograms per milliliter that is considered an adequate blood level of the vitamin.
In one study, for example, 93 percent of those who suffered from chronic musculoskeletal pain turned out to be vitamin D deficient. A full 25 percent of participants turned out to have severe vitamin D deficiency, with blood levels of less than eight nanograms per milliliter.
Many of the studies found that vitamin D supplementation caused chronic fatigue and pain symptoms to vanish. In one study, for example, 95 percent of those treated with supplements for three months reported improvements in chronic back pain, including 100 percent of those who were severely deficient at the study's start.
"Taken as a whole, the research evidence supports vitamin D supplementation as a potentially important therapy for helping to ameliorate muscle, bone, and joint aches and pains," said researcher Stewart B. Leavitt, editor of Pain Treatment Topics.
The researchers noted that vitamin D deficiency is widespread around the world and added their support to the growing sentiment that the current recommended daily amount of vitamin D (600 IU) are too low. Healthy adults should take 1,000 IU per day, they said, while those suffering from chronic musculoskeletal pain should probably take 2,000. They emphasized that vitamin D supplements interact with very few drugs or other medical products, and are not harmful except in extraordinarily high doses.
Vitamin D can also be synthesized naturally by the body upon exposure to sunlight.