Higher vitamin D levels are now connected to a significant reduction in pain for women with a history of severe menstrual cramps, MedPageToday reported.
Italian researchers published a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine in which women taking high doses of vitamin D five days before their next expected period did not have to use pain medication during their periods. “Of 20 women taking the 300,000-IU dose of vitamin D, 15 reported pain scores at least two points lower than their average over a four-cycle baseline period, on a standard 10-point visual analog scale, reported Antonino Lasco, MD, of the University of Messina in Italy, and colleagues,” MedPageToday reported. “Additionally, no patients in the vitamin D group reported using NSAID painkillers during the trial’s treatment phase, whereas eight women in the placebo group took the medications at least once.”
The randomized trial was a small group, but supported previous work theorizing that low vitamin D levels may be involved in higher pain for women prone to painful periods, Dr. Antonio Lasco of the University of Messina told MedPageToday.
“Lasco and colleagues sought to test vitamin D for menstrual cramps because vitamin D appears to affect pathways that also are involved in pain and in uterine physiology. In particular, it inhibits prostaglandin synthesis, and previous studies have shown that the enzyme that converts vitamin D into its active metabolites is expressed in the uterus,” MedPageToday reported.
Doctors did not recommend a 300,000 IU dosage, which they calculated to be about 5,000 IU/day based on how the supplement was given in the trial.
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