Originally published July 28 2014
Healthy vitamin D levels help relieve chronic pain
by Julie Wilson
(NaturalNews) Previous studies have proven that maintaining adequate levels of vitamin D in the bloodstream increases our emotional well-being, encourages longevity and offers relief to patients suffering from chronic pain.
Researchers at the Mayo Clinic concluded that sufficient levels of the sunshine vitamin help alleviate chronic pain, as reported by MayoClinic.org. Michael Turner, M.D., a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician and the study's lead author, discovered a correlation between inadequate vitamin D levels and the amount of pain medication required by patients experiencing chronic pain.
Analysis of patients taking narcotic pain medicine showed that those with lowered levels of vitamin D depended on twice the dosage of medication as those with adequate levels of the sunshine vitamin.
"This is an important finding as we continue to investigate the causes of chronic pain," said Dr. Turner. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, chronic pain is the leading cause of disability in the United States. Arthritis is the number one condition responsible for chronic pain, claiming more than 50 million victims annually.
Patients prescribed to narcotics reported having decreased physical functional abilities and a more negative perception of their overall health. Scientists identified another interesting correlation between vitamin D levels and increased body mass index (BMI), which is used to measure obesity. The results were published in the journal Pain Medicine.
Researchers from the D-CarDia collaboration are the first to associate high BMI with low vitamin D levels. Their findings suggest that, as obesity increases, vitamin D levels are reduced.
Links between high BMI and low vitamin D levels were able to be drawn across various demographic groups. A report by Medical News Today stated, "For each 10% increase in BMI there was a 4.2% drop in Vitamin D."
The publication added, "Vitamin D scores appeared to have no link to BMI, indicating that the association between the two is more likely a Vitamin D lowering effect caused by a high BMI."
Maintaining sufficient levels of vitamin D in the bloodstream provides us with a diverse range of health benefits. Dr. Turner affirms that this particular vitamin "is known to promote both bone and muscle strength," by assisting your intestines with absorption of nutrients like calcium and phosphorus.
"Vitamin D provides calcium balance in the body that prevents osteoporosis or arthritis," as reported by Newsmax.
The sunshine vitamin is also crucial in that it decreases your chance of heart disease by providing a protective lining for blood vessels and protects you from getting the flu and colds by activating your immune system, triggering it to attack and destroy bacteria and viruses.
Additional health benefits include blood pressure regulation, stress reduction, alleviation of body aches and muscle spasms, helping fight depression, improved overall skin health and reduced wrinkles given the correct level of exposure.
Dr. Turner illustrated that "deficiency is an under-recognized source of diffuse pain and impaired neuromuscular functioning. By recognizing it, physicians can significantly improve their patients' pain, function and quality of life."
Obtaining proper levels of vitamin D naturally depends on a variety of factors like air pollution, altitude levels, the weather and sunscreen. Humans produce levels of the vitamin differently depending on their skin tone. Pale skin absorbs sunlight faster requiring about 15 minutes of direct sunlight. Those with darker skin tones could need up to two hours to achieve optimal vitamin D levels.
Foods like salmon, sardines, egg yolks, shrimp and milk offer vitamin D, but getting enough of the mineral solely through foods is difficult. If you're reluctant about sun exposure, vitamin D supplements can get your levels to where they need to be.
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