Is Vitamin D Supplementation Necessary In Arthritis
There is a linear relationship between vitamin D deficiency and the development of arthritis.
This shows that vitamin D is absolutely essential for maintaining bone health and development.
Hence, people who are suffering from arthritis, they should make sure that they receive enough vitamin D to see a reduction in the symptoms of arthritis.
The amount of pain and disability you feel during arthritis increases with vitamin D deficiency.
Considering vitamin D helps in the absorption of calcium, people with enough vitamin D experience less pain because calcium is a natural painkiller and a relaxant.
Vitamin D has a positive effect in reducing the immune response.
What does this mean? This means that if you suffering from arthritis, then it is beneficial to increase your intake of vitamin D because it is an essential nutrient to prevent the progression of arthritis. Apart from taking supplements, it is important to consume foods that have a high content of vitamin D to attain the maximum benefits.
Too Much Vitamin D Resulted In Lingering Leg Pain
Is it possible to get too much vitamin D? Nutrition advisors such as registered dietitians have worried about this for years because vitamin D, like vitamin A, is fat soluble. As a consequence, it could build up in body stores and eventually one could develop an overload.
It isnt easy to get too much vitamin D through natural means, such as exposing skin to sunshine or eating foods rich in the vitamin. Not many foods have enough vitamin D to make them dangerous, and human physiology has ways to make sure even a lot of sun exposure wont usually result in vitamin D toxicity.
But it is definitely possible to get too much vitamin D by taking supplements. This reader describes such a case:
What Is Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency means that you do not have enough vitamin D in your body. Vitamin D is unique because your skin actually produces it by using sunlight. Fair-skinned individuals and those who are younger convert sunshine into vitamin D far better than those who are darker-skinned and over age 50.
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How Effective Are Cherry Supplements For Knee Pain
A group of 58 people with osteoarthritis of the knee were asked to drink either tart cherry juice or placebo juice for 6 weeks. Then, after a week of no treatment, they swapped over to take the other juice for another 6 weeks so acted as their own controls.
Their knee pain, knee stiffness and knee joint function were assessed before and after each treatment, and scores decreased significantly after the cherry juice treatment but not after the placebo treatment.
What Is An Iu Vitamin D Dosing Demystified
If you supplement with vitamin D, 5000 IU, it weighs less than a couple of small drops of water. The units are deceptive.
One vitamin D IU is 0.025 micrograms of vitamin D. That means 5000 IU of vitamin D3 is 125 micrograms or about a tenth of a milligram. Pretty tiny amount!
The sun gives you about the equivalent of 4 small drops of water in weight of vitamin D.
A glass of milk gives you about 1 hundredth of a tiny drop of water of vitamin D, if that helps put it in perspective.
Not even a drop in the bucket of your bodys needs for an analogy. One final point on this topic over-the-counter D3 is more natural, safe, and effective than the prescription variety, D2.
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What Does Vitamin D Do For Our Joints
Vitamin D maintains blood calcium levels and it regulates calcium and phosphorus, which keep bones and teeth hard and strong. One of vitamin Ds primary functions is to absorb calcium and to promote bone growth, it works together with calcium to help build and support healthy bones and joints. Vitamin D also plays a role in muscle pain, however this relationship is less prevalent than the connection between vitamin D and joint pain.
Unlike most other vitamins, our body is able to make its own vitamin D when the skin is exposed to sunlight. It converts vitamin D into an activated form that can be used throughout the body. Although most commonly known for its role in bone health, vitamin D is also thought to play a part in many other important functions in the body including brain development, muscle function and immune function.
Inadequate levels of phosphate, calcium and vitamin D, as well as poor absorption of calcium, can lead to a condition known as osteomalacia, or softening of the bones. It can also lead to brittle bones and weak muscles. It most commonly affects areas such as the lower back, pelvis and hips, often this pain is worse at night or when you bear weight on the affected bones. Some believe that osteomalacia as a result of vitamin D deficiency can contribute to morning back pain.1
A More Detailed Look At Dosing Safety: Are Higher Dosages Of Vitamin D Really Safe
Im not talking about megadoses over 20000 IU per day. Thats just silliness: although its probably not dangerous, it might be, and its not necessary. This is more about the kind of dose you can easily find for sale in drugstores: 5000 IU capsules are quite common. Dr. Harriet Hall has reasonable concerns about that:
A Walmart ad in my local newspaper trumpets 75% of all Americans dont get enough Vitamin D and offers to sell me Maximum Strength Vitamin D3, 5000 IU capsules to promote bone, colon and breast health. Meanwhile, the Institute of Medicine tells me that the majority of Americans and Canadians are receiving adequate amounts of vitamin D and that no one should take more than 4000 IU a day. Apparently Walmart and the IOM arent talking to each other.
Indeed, the official recommended dosage for adults is 600 IU per day, with a tolerable upper intake level for D for adults of 4000 IU.29 If were going to break those rules, there had better be a compelling rationale and evidence of safety. I have looked very hard at these questions repeatedly over the years.
The first reason to break the rule is a good one: it is probably wrong due to a serious calculation error, reported by two groups of researchers.30
But the pain patient might. The geometry of risk and benefit is different for pain patients.
I also discussed the toxicity issue briefly with Dr. Hall . She agreed that anything under 50,000 IU is unlikely to be toxic .
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How Is Vitamin D Deficiency Treated
The goals of treatment and prevention are the sameto reach, and then maintain, an adequate level of vitamin D in the body. While you might consider eating more foods that contain vitamin D and getting a little bit of sunlight, you will likely be told to take vitamin D supplements.
Vitamin D comes in two forms: D2 and D3. D2, also called ergocalciferol, comes from plants. D3, also called cholecalciferol, comes from animals. You need a prescription to get D2. D3, however, is available over the counter. It is more easily absorbed than D2 and lasts longer in the body dose-for-dose. Work with your doctor to find out if you need to take a vitamin supplement and how much to take if it is needed.
Why Is Vitamin D Essential For Health
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for the body as it helps maintain good overall health and strong and healthy bones.
It makes sure that the activities of the heart, muscles, lungs, and brain are not declined and we are able to fight infections.
The direct source of vitamin D is sunlight. Apart from that, we can obtain sunlight from different supplements and very little from the food we eat.
The direct source of vitamin D is sunlight. Apart from that, we can obtain sunlight from different supplements and very little from the food we eat.
The vitamin D that we get from sunlight and supplements has to be changed before it can be utilized by the body. Once
Once utilized, then it manages the amount of calcium absorption in blood and gut and helps the cells to communicate properly. The relation between vitamin D and bones was highlighted a long ago when it was reported that vitamin D prevents the occurrence of rickets in children.
More research has been conducted since then which have reported that vitamin D is useful in preventing and treating many diseases that affect long term health.
A difference between vitamin D and other vitamins is that our skin gets vitamin D from the sunlight, our body converts this vitamin D into an active hormone. This hormone is called “activated vitamin D” or “calcitriol”.
Vitamin D is useful for many body functions like:
- Immune system
- Respiratory function
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How Cherry Supplements Reduce Knee Pain
are a rich source of antioxidants, including vitamin C, carotenoids, and rich purple-red anthocyanin polyphenols. Together, these have an anti-inflammatory, pain-killing action that mimics that of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs but without the same side effects.
Drinking sour cherry juice can reduce muscle and joint pain and inflammation in people with osteoarthritis, and in athletes with injuries.
Why Not A Vitamin D Rich Diet
Because youd have to eat a lot of fish.
Its hard to get a meaningful amount of vitamin D from food. For pain patients, who are trying to make absolutely sure they are getting enough vitamin D, food is just not a rich enough source. Supplements and sunshine should be your main sources, but of course that doesnt mean you shouldnt also try to get as much as you can from food. Salmon is the best source theres about 600 IU in 6 ounces of salmon followed by mackerel, tuna and other fatty fish. Other than that, the foods with the most vitamin D are:
- Foods artificially fortified with vitamin D, like some dairy products, orange juice, soy milk, and cereals.
- Beef liver
Fruits, veggies, and grains have almost no vitamin D.
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Are You Getting Too Much
Although vitamin D deficiency is fairly common as a result of its scarce availability in our diet it is possible to get too much vitamin D. Over supplementing is usually the way that vitamin D toxicity comes about. Extremely high IU doses of vitamin D in chunky tablet form may sound like they will fix all of your low vitamin D problems however, your body just isnt designed to absorb high amounts of vitamins in this way. Whats more, taking too much vitamin D can also negatively impact our health as well as our joint pain because our body simply cant cope!
If toxic levels of vitamin D build up in the body it can interfere with your bodys absorption of calcium. If your body doesnt have enough calcium to be able to function properly it will begin to take this mineral from other areas such as your bones! This can then lead to problems with bone strength and health and add to your overall joint problems. To find out more about the effects of vitamin D toxicity check out our blog Are you getting too much vitamin D?
Vitamin D Deficiency And Joint Pain
While the studies are inconclusive till now and still research is going on, most of them do state that Vitamin D deficiency is responsible for joint as well as muscle pain. The symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency and Joint Pain include Rheumatoid Arthritis pain that occurs in the knees, hips, and legs as well as joints and muscles.
Joint PainThere is a belief that Vitamin D plays a significant role in relieving the joint pain condition, specifically if the pain is due to deficiency. Some studies that support the belief include the following:
- A 2011 study of postmenopausal women, published in Maturitas suggested that women with severe joint pain did suffer from very low vitamin D levels.
- Another study in 2011 published under Clinical Rheumatology stated that 70 percent of the patients who experienced some kind of joint pain were also deficient in Vitamin D.
- A research paper of the year 2012 states that Vitamin D could be one of the risk factors associated with inflammatory diseases such as RA and could also lead to an increase in the severity of it.
- Another research paper of the year 2016 has stated that people with RA conditions also showed low Vitamin D levels.
- Studies have also stated that increased levels of Vitamin D in the body can help prevent joint conditions like Osteoporosis. Even people suffering from RA are subject to osteoporotic fractures and even suffer from joint pain.
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About The Bone Aching
Bone aching is often mistaken for muscle aches simply because people dont expect their bloody bones to ache. The pain is a symptom of osteomalacia specifically, which is kind of like an evil twin of growing pains: bone weakening caused by malfunctioning bone building biology, not the same thing as osteoporosis.13 The Mayo Clinic describes osteomalacia symptoms like so: The dull, aching pain associated with osteomalacia most commonly affects the lower back, pelvis, hips, legs and ribs. The pain may be worse at night, or when youre putting weight on affected bones. Thus, vitamin D deficiency may be a partial explanation for the extremely common phenomenon of morning back pain.
I think its possible that bone aching can occur even when osteomalacia is mild.14
How Much Vitamin D Should I Be Getting
Ive talked about the effects of too little and too much vitamin D but how much should we actually be getting? The recommended daily amount of vitamin D is 100 micrograms which roughly translates to between 400 and 600IU per day. Many vitamin D supplements contain triple and sometimes more than this amount! So be weary when picking a supplement and always read the label to see how much youre actually taking.
Another option might be our Balance Mineral Drink which not only contains 100% of your RDA, but it is also full of other important minerals including zinc, calcium, magnesium and potassium all of which play important roles in maintaining the health of our muscles and joints.
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Vitamin D Improves Arthritic Symptoms
A study was in the journal Rheumatology which reported that the level of vitamin D in the body is associated with the disease activity, the level of cytokines which cause inflammation, and loss of bones in the patients.
Vitamin D reduces inflammation as it has an effect on the function of the immune system.
A study was conducted in PLoS One in which the association between vitamin D and arthritis was studied.
It was reported that the level of vitamin D in serum was lower in patients with arthritis than healthy patients. Also, genetic and environmental factors play a major role in the development of arthritis.
Studies were conducted on murine models many years ago in which the positive effects of vitamin D in preventing the development and progression of arthritis were studied. When vitamin D supplementation was given, then the arthritis symptoms had .
What does this mean? The research that has been conducted to deduce the relationship between vitamin D and arthritis reported that there is a deficiency in vitamin D in patients with arthritis. A deficiency in vitamin D disrupts the function of the immune system and develops autoimmune diseases like arthritis.
Leg Pain From Too Much Vitamin D:
Q. My husband took vitamin D3 for over five years. He started having leg pain in his thigh and went to our family doctor. She prescribed prednisone for two weeks for a possible strained muscle.
His pain improved but returned after he had finished that round of medication. She then referred him to an orthopedic doctor who did an x-ray of his leg and said his pain was probably due to muscle strain. He also prescribed prednisone for two weeks, and again the pain returned after treatment.
Some time later I read that muscle and bone pain could be a side effect of vitamin D3. He discontinued the supplemental vitamin D3 and has been pain-free ever since. What a relief!
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Consider Vitamin D Cofactors
Our bodies are meant to receive a diverse and rich supply of nutrients from foods and from the sun. Unfortunately, by recent estimates, this is a very rare occurrence due to food habits and soil depletion.
In order for the body to properly use vitamin D, make sure to get adequate amounts of the following cofactors.
Magnesium deficiency is very common and supplements of magnesium itself can help reduce pain. Not only is magnesium involved in vitamin D metabolism, but your body stores may also drop if you dont have enough magnesium in your system when starting vitamin D.
If you dont eat green vegetables and seeds daily, you run the risk of magnesium deficiency. Certain medications may also rob you of magnesium. Supplementation of magnesium, as well as dosing and brands, are included in my best heart health supplements blog.
Personally, my favorite way to supplement magnesium is in the form of the Lifelong Vitality Pack because it doesnt upset my stomach as most magnesium supplements do. It has dimagnesium malate and ascorbate.
This particular Lifelong Vitality Pack supplement regimen clinically improved pain in a pilot trial as well. For joint pain vitamins, it is an obvious choice because it also contains zinc and antioxidants that reduce inflammation. Its vitamins are sourced naturally too, such as folate.
Vitamin K2 may also reduce harmful calcification inside the artery wall.
You can read more about vitamin A here.