Originally published March 1 2012
Single mega-dose of vitamin D eases menstrual cramps for up to two months, study reveals
by Jonathan Benson, staff writer
(NaturalNews) It is now becoming widely known that maintaining optimal levels of vitamin D in the body boosts immunity and prevents a variety of debilitating diseases. But a new study published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine has found that women with primary dysmenorrhea, a gynecologic problem in menstruating women that results in severe pelvic pain, can eliminate their immobilizing cramps for up to two months by taking a single "mega-dose" of vitamin D.
Antonino Lasco, M.D., from the University of Messina in Italy and his colleagues evaluated 40 women aged '8 to 40 as part of their study. Each of the women had experienced at least four consecutive painful menstrual periods within the six months prior to the study, and also had blood levels of "5-hydroxy vitamin D of less than 45 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL), which is below what is increasingly being considered a normal, healthy level.
Each of the women, who reportedly has not taken calcium, vitamin D, oral contraceptives, or any other medications besides non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for pain, were assigned either a single, oral dose of 300,000 international units (IUs) of cholecalciferol, also known as vitamin D3, or placebo for five days before they were expected to have their next menstrual period.
After two months, overall pain in the vitamin D group dropped by a whopping 4' percent, while no pain reduction was observed in the placebo group. And those with the most severe pain at the beginning of the study experienced the greatest reduction in pain as a result of taking vitamin D, which has huge implications for how women with primary dysmenorrhea can treat their pain naturally without having to continually take NSAIDs and other pain medications, which can result in serious side effects.
Taking 300,000 IU of vitamin D every day on a regular basis would obviously be way too much for any person to handle, as the upper limit for daily intake is somewhere between 30,000 and 50,000 IU. However, taking this mega-dose every few months to alleviate menstrual pain instead of taking pharmaceutical drugs is a plausible option that appears to be both safe and effective.
"If these findings are confirmed in future randomized trials, vitamin D supplementation may become an important new treatment option for women who experience menstrual pain disorders," wrote the authors. "Our data support the use of cholecalciferol in these patients, especially when exhibiting low plasmatic levels of "5(OH)D."
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