The “sunshine supplements” could help many pain-related conditions, from menstrual cramps to fibromyalgia, biologists have said.
A review by scientists in Brazil states that vitamin D must be combined with good sleep to manage pain-related diseases.
That is because the vitamin, created by exposure to sunlight and found in oily fish, is believed to fight inflammation. Inflammation, the body’s immune response to illness, releases proteins which make people more sensitive to pain.
The vitamin is already recommended for pregnant women and claimed to ward off diseases such as dementia and multiple sclerosis, with some experts calling for it to be routinely added to food to prevent chronic colds and flu.
Doctor Monica Levy, Lead author of the study, which is published in the Journal of Endocrinology, said: “We can hypothesise that suitable vitamin D supplementation combined with sleep hygiene (good sleeping habits) may optimise the therapeutic management of pain-related diseases such as fibromyalgia.”
The review cites several studies showing that taking supplements when sunshine is scarce can help with musculoskeletal pain such as backache. One analysis found that hospital patients’ pain decreased markedly after three months of vitamin D supplementation.
Nearly a third of the British population are deficient in vitamin D because of the grey UK weather and a diet low in fresh produce. - Daily Mail