Vitamin D in the Body
In a recent article on the positive effects of vitamin D on overall health, M.F. Holick provides ample evidence that’s it’s in all our best interest to get “sensible sun exposure along with vitamin D supplementation.”
We all know that our bodies turn sunlight into vitamin D, but as the Holick explains, vitamin D is actually a hormone that can also be absorbed through diet and supplementation. After the liver converts vitamin D into its active form (1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D), it works in the small intestine to increase absorption of calcium and phosphate, key elements of good bone health.
Vitamin D Affects Overall Health
Holick goes on to explain that nearly all tissue in the body has receptors for vitamin D and as a result vitamin D deficiency is often linked to a number of health issues such as preeclampsia, increased risk of c-section, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, types 1 and 2 diabetes, heart disease, dementia, cancers, and infectious diseases. Low vitamin D levels are also associated with cognitive impairment in older adults, severe asthma in children, cancer, and more.
Vitamin D and Fibromyalgia
In addition, a recent study out of Ireland showed patients with Fibromyalgia may be at special risk of vitamin D deficiency. In the study, 36% of patients had deficient levels of Vitamin D and 62% had insufficient levels. Only 15% of patients we getting adequate levels of vitamin D.
Researchers noted that the patients, mostly middle-aged women, may have suffered reduced vitamin D may have been caused by the fact they live in Ireland, where it’s sunny less often that other parts of the world. And when it is sunny, patients may choose to stay indoors because of their chronic pain.
Other research has probed the relationship between vitamin D deficiency and musculoskeletal pain with conflicting results. Some studies show fibromyalgia patients with low vitamin D levels while others had levels no different than a control group.
Supplement Vitamin D to Improve Health
While more research is need to understand the exact link between vitamin D and muscle pain, there’s no doubt that supplementing vitamin D is a good step to increase overall health. Holick concluded his study by suggesting the best way to achieve maximum health is for adults to supplement their vitamin D intake by 2,000 IU (international units) per day while children supplement by 1,000 IU along with with regular safe sun exposure. But don’t forget, sunscreen or sun-block lotions prevent vitamin D from being produced in the skin. So when you’re outside, monitor your sun exposure carefully.
Chiropractic Can Help
Vitamin D supplementation is just one component in achieving optimum health. Diet, exercise, and family history also play important roles. And what about your spine and bone alignment? Those deficiencies cause pain and limit mobility which can have profound effects on health and well-being.
If you live in Vancouver, Washington and are interested in learning more about chiropractic and how it can help improve your health, make an appointment online, or call 360.573.0730 and speak to someone in my office. All new patients receive a free gift at their first appointment. Together we can assess your health and make a plan for improvement. Call today!
Holick MF, Vitamin D: A D-Lightful Solution for Health. Journal of Investigative Medicine. 2011 Mar 16.
Jan A, et al. “Serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D levels in patients with fibromyalgia” BSR 2012; Abstract 231.
Walsh, Nancy. Medpage Today. Vitamin D May be Help in Fibromyalgia. May 3, 2012. Accessed May 10, 2012. http://www.medpagetoday.com/MeetingCoverage/BSR/32497.