Vitamin D Helps Manage Chronic Conditions: Studies
According to a digital journal press release, recent studies suggest that vitamin D could be a safe, effective and inexpensive treatment for chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease.
Fibromyalgia is characterized by chronic pain and fatigue as well as heightened sensitivity to pressure. The affliction also causes stiffness, sleeping disorders, an inability to concentrate and anxiety or depression.
There is currently no cure for fibromyaligia and prescription medications can be costly and come with undesirable side-effects.
Recently, researchers have found that women who suffer from fibromyalgia characteristically have lower levels of vitamin D in their blood stream. Dr. Florian Wepner at Orthopedic Hospital Speising in Vienna, Austria, led a research team that conducted randomized controlled trial of 30 women who suffered from fibromyalgia and had low vitamin D levels.
Half of these women were placed in a treatment group, in which their vitamin D intake was raised to normal levels for a period of 20 weeks. The other half of the women received no change in vitamin D levels.
The results, which were monitored throughout the trial process and then again 24 weeks after the trial had concluded, indicated women who received higher levels of vitamin D in their blood stream showed substantial improvements in physical functions, less morning fatigue and a significant reduction in pain levels. Wepner’s study was published in the February 2014 issue of Pain journal.
Vitamin D has also been found to benefit those suffering from multiple sclerosis, a central nervous system disease that negatively affects muscle control and strength, balance, vision and cognition.
Dr. Alberto Ascherio of Harvard School of Public Health in Boston led an international research team to study the effects of increased vitamin D on the progression of multiple sclerosis within early-stage patients.
The study, which has been published in the march 2014 issue of JAMA Neurology, found that of the 465 patients followed, those with adequate levels of vitmain D in their blood streams reported 57 percent fewer new brain lesions, 57 percent fewer relapses and 25 per cent lower increases in legion masses than their vitamin D-deficient counterparts.
Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, a degenerative central nervous system disorder, were also eased by an increase of vitamin D. Dr. Amie Peterson’s research team at the Veterans’s Administration Medical Center in Portland, Oregon, conducted a study on 286 Parkinson’s patients, 61 of whom also suffered from dementia.
Results found that those with higher levels of vitamin D in their blood streams, including those with dementia, tested higher on areas of verbal fluency and verbal memory as well as reported lower levels of depression. The study was published in the September 2013 issue of the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease.
The work done by these researchers prove there are safer and more natural alternatives to prescription medications, and that in the case of fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease natural treatment methods should be given more consideration.
Canadian Chiropractor (July/Aug 2014) pg. 12 “Nutrition: Vitamin D helps manage chronic conditions: studies”