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Information on the latest vitamin D news and research.

Find out more information on deficiency, supplementation, sun exposure, and how vitamin D relates to your health.

New study finds vitamin D levels may be related to pain sensitivity

A recent prospective cohort study published in Pain Medicine suggests that low vitamin D levels heightens pain sensitivity.

Past research has shown that low levels of vitamin D may be associated with pain in various conditions.

For example, a previous study in osteoarthritis patients found low levels of vitamin D to be related to increased mechanical pain sensitivity but not to self-reported clinical pain. Mechanical pain is pain that occurs when there is physical injury to tissue, while self-reported clinical pain is pain that is caused by a chronic condition or disease that does not cause physical damage to tissues and is reported by patients to their physician.

Based upon this finding, researchers from Bern University Hospital and University of Bern in Switzerland conducted a study to determine if low vitamin D levels in a sample of patients with chronic pain disorders may relate to the central processing of mechanical pain. Central processing of pain is the process by which the brain interprets signals from pain receptors throughout the body. Since vitamin D has anti-inflammatory properties, the researchers proposed that low vitamin D levels may increase inflammation in the limbic system, and consequently, increase sensitivity to mechanical pain.

The researchers enrolled 174 patients with chronic pain disorders with or without an explained medical cause at the beginning of the disease. The patients’ vitamin D levels were tested shortly after hospital referral.

To measure the central processing of mechanical sensitivity, a clamp was placed on the nail bed of the middle fingers of the participants for 10 seconds. Patients then reported their pain on a scale ranging from 0 (“no pain”) to 10 (“the most intense pain imaginable”). The test was performed on the middle finger of each hand to account for side-specific differences in pain perception, and the average score from both fingers was used for analysis.

Here were the results:

  • 71% of the patients had vitamin D deficiency (30 ng/ml).
  • Lower vitamin D levels were significantly associated with higher pain sensitivity scores (p= 0.011).
  • Each decrease of 10 ng/ml in vitamin D levels were related to a .607 unit increase in pain sensitivity scores.

The researchers concluded,

“We found a significant inverse association between continuously scaled 25-OH D levels and mechanical pain sensitivity. This finding is in agreement with experimental animal work on provoked pain sensitivity.”

They went on to admit some limitations of the study:

“The cross-sectional and nonexperimental design preclude any causal and mechanistic inferences. Theoretically, low [vitamin D] levels might contribute to increased central hypersensitivity of multiple organ systems or, alternatively, central processes could inhibit vitamin D metabolism top down.”

They also realized that a lack of information on the source of the vitamin D in the patients could have impacted their findings.

Future studies should utilize a control group to assess whether the association between vitamin D levels and increased pain sensitivity is specific to chronic pain patients.


Roland, K. et al. Vitamin D and central hypersensitivity in patients with chronic pain. Pain Medicine, 2014.

  About: Will Hunter

Will is the Program Associate of the Vitamin D council and works on website administration, content production and editing, and fundraising. He is passionate about nutrition, exercise, and technology and how they relate to health and longevity.

7 Responses to New study finds vitamin D levels may be related to pain sensitivity

  1. SunBlocker says:

    I would like to know if this study included any contributions that have been made by the Stratospheric Geoengineering Programs being conducted by the government concerning the subject of Sun Dimming / managing solar radiation?

    Blocking the suns rays by injecting sulfate aerosol precursors, (nano particulates of Aluminum Oxide) into the stratosphere from military jets to cool the planet?

    They use aircraft to maintain a cloud of dust in the low stratosphere to reflect sunlight. Which can also explain another health impact the unexplained epidemic of respiratory illnesses now present around the world as well. This is not just a US vitamin D deficiency it is Global now.

    The negative effects were discussed and should be included in this study to make it a valid medical study. Here is the link on the Congressional Hearings on the subject.

    They discuss the negative impact on astronomers and the lack of them being able to see the night sky. The reverse is also as important with an impact but on the level of health and the lack of the sun reaching the population below not able to benefit from the suns rays and absorbing the suns Vitamin D nutrients. Which would ultimately lead to a real deficiency in Vitamin D3.



    NOVEMBER 5, 2009
    FEBRUARY 4, 2010
    MARCH 18, 2010

    Serial No. 111–62
    Serial No. 111–75
    Serial No. 111–88
    Printed for the use of the Committee on Science and Technology


    Page 65 is a good place to start for a quick read. Benefits , Risks & Costs of Geoengineering

    This study mentions not one word of this subject and I believe it needs to be included in the study and reported as a contributing factor in the vitamin D deficiency epidemic in the general population to make this a complete valid study.

    Thank you

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  2. Rita and Misty says:

    SunBlocker, this reads like a science nightmare. But truth is always stranger than fiction, at least in my book of life.

    Thank you for sharing this bizarre report. I am planning to post it on my Linkedin page with your comments in quotes.

    I desire to be a conduit to bring folks here, where some extraordinary convo is taking place.

    But, of course, SunBlocker if you feel uncomfortable in any way, shape or form, with me posting your info on my Linkedin page, simply let me know via this website or my home email: [email protected] and I will remove your post immediately from my Linkedin page.


    To healthier days…

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  3. Rita and Misty says:

    SunBlocker…please consider joining me on Linkedin.

    Let’s bring mainstream to http://www.vitamindcouncil.org

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  4. SunBlocker says:

    Rita please do post what I have shared with the site. It is very important as many people understand what is going on around them and the consequences we are incurring due to the actions or experiments of others.

    It really is a true science nightmare. Look what is happening now. The vitamin D deficiency is only one consequence out of the bigger picture of things that’s been developing over time.

    Thank you and yes To healthier days…

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  5. Rita and Misty says:

    Done! :) Please consider helping me, SunBlocker…come find me at :


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  6. SunBlocker says:

    Rita I tried to connect using this link but it wouldn’t allow me on Linkedin for some reason.

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  7. Rita and Misty says:

    I’m sad to learn this, SunBlocker…. Please email me at [email protected] and perhaps we can figure out how we can connect. :) It would be wonderful to generate a Vitamin D Council Linkedin page, in my opinion. But, I am full of opinions 😉 and I apologize to the Vitamin D Council for being so (dang) opinionated. By the way, I am always (always) grateful to the Vitamin D Council for the extraordinary work it accomplishes both on a shoe string budget and small staff. Thank you!

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