High-Dose Vitamin D Reduces Chronic Pain

A new study with breast cancer patients has widespread implications for any person with chronic pain—high-dose vitamin D1 may be able to significantly reduce the pain.

It is typical that doctors prescribe aromatase inhibitors to women with estrogen-positive breast cancer. A common adverse side effect is extreme pain in the bones and joints, a traumatic inflammatory result from reduced levels of estrogen. Doctors have often found that women with breast cancer have low vitamin D in the first place. Interestingly enough, they happened to notice that many of the women with a high vitamin D intake did not experience the expected chronic pain. This led them to conduct a double-blind placebo-controlled randomized phase II trial providing 50,000 IU of vitamin D per week for two months. The women who received high-dose vitamin D realized a dramatic reduction in pain. What’s more, they did not only realize a dramatic reduction in pain—they also did not lose any bone density.

These findings have widespread implications to anyone with chronic pain as Vitamin D is the key nutrient that prevents your immune system from overheating, leading to an inflammatory fire resulting in ongoing pain. It is theoretically expected that receiving vitamin D, at some dose, could help put out such a fire. This would seemingly be a far better and less costly approach than poisoning the immune system with the typical remedies currently used to control pain. This is the first study, however, to prove this point. The bottom line is while this approach is used to relieve pain in breast cancer patients, it has obvious implications for any sort of autoimmune pain, such as rheumatoid arthritis or pain in general.

Before taking this amount of vitamin D, individuals should have their blood tested and retested every several months to ensure their vitamin D levels do not elevate out of range. The goal is to try to reach a vitamin D blood level that is toward the higher end of the normal range (the typical lab range is 30 to 100 ng/mL). Many studies indicate, however, that ideal vitamin D levels are between 50 and 80 ng/mL Individuals with any type of chronic pain may therefore want to consume high-dose vitamin D to target a blood level closer to 80 ng/mL.

I am not suggesting that vitamin D is the only important issue relating to pain. I am saying that it is a key nutrient that plays a role in how well your body handles the inflammatory heat of pain, before the frying pan starts to cook the goose. It is a far better strategy than that of the medical profession—employing expensive, toxic remedies as part of their lucrative pain-treatment industry—and may help individuals to use much lower doses of such drugs or none at all.

Thursday, August 04, 2011  –  Byron Richards, CCN

Referenced Studies:

  1. ^ High Dose Vitamin D Lowers Pain in Breast Cancer Patients  Breast Cancer Research and Treatment   Antonella L. Rastelli, Marie E. Taylor, Feng Gao, Reina Armamento-Villareal, Shohreh Jamalabadi-Majidi, Nicola Napoli and Matthew J. Ellis.


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