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New trial: Vitamin D helps alleviate pain in those with fibromyalgia

Posted on: January 20, 2014   by  Vitamin D Council


Researchers out of Austria have found that vitamin D supplementation may lessen pain in patients with fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a disease characterized mainly by widespread pain throughout the body. Additionally those with FMS experience fatigue, memory and mood issues. Researchers aren’t sure yet what causes FMS, but some think it is due to increased sensitivity to pain signals by the brain.

Few studies have looked at vitamin D and FMS. So far, the main link found is that those suffering from FMS often have low vitamin D levels. Additionally, studies have shown vitamin D can be beneficial to different types of pain in general, not specific to FMS.

“Low blood levels of calcifediol [25(OH)D] are especially common in patients with severe pain and fibromyalgia. But although the role of calcifediol in the perception of chronic pain is a widely discussed subject, we lack clear evidence of the role of vitamin D supplementation in fibromyalgia patients,” stated lead researcher Dr. Florian Wepner.

This prompted researchers in the present study to ask, can vitamin D supplementation help with pain in those suffering from FMS?

To answer this question, the research team looked at a group of 30 women with FMS who all had vitamin D levels below 32 ng/ml. They randomized the women to either receive vitamin D supplementation or a placebo. Their goal for the vitamin D group was to raise their levels to between 32 and 48 ng/ml over the course of 20 weeks.

Twenty-four weeks after vitamin D supplementation stopped, the researchers found a marked reduction in perceived pain among the treatment group. Compared to the placebo group, the treatment group significantly improved on physical role functioning and on morning fatigue. There were, however, no alterations in depression or anxiety symptoms.

“We believe that the data presented in the present study are promising. FMS is a very extensive symptom complex that cannot be explained by a vitamin D deficiency alone. However, vitamin D supplementation may be regarded as a relatively safe and economical treatment for FMS patients and an extremely cost-effective alternative or adjunct to expensive pharmacological treatment as well as physical, behavioral, and multimodal therapies,” said Dr. Wepner. “Vitamin D levels should be monitored regularly in FMS patients, especially in the winter season, and raised appropriately.”


Materese, T. Vitamin D supplements reduce pain in fibromyalgia sufferers. Elsevier Health Sciences, 2014.

2 Responses to New trial: Vitamin D helps alleviate pain in those with fibromyalgia

  1. EdwardHutchinson

    I’ve read the full text of this paper and was disappointed they researchers appeared unaware of Luxwolda’s work regarding what may be natural 25(OH)D levels for human DNA.

    Given this study was taking place in Austria a more generous use of Cholecalciferol supplements initially would have raised 25(OH)D faster. Maintaining 25(OH)D around 50ng/ml 125nmol/l for longer (rather than allowing it to drop from week 25) would have increased the time over which these FMS patients maintained a natural 25(OH)D status.
    The study only achieved/maintained effective 25(OH)D levels from weeks 10~30.

    I’d like to see the results of a study where Trial groups started recording results when 25(OH)D levels reached
    45ng/ml ~ 112.5nmol/l and 25(OH)D maintained between 45ng/ml and 60ng/ml for a whole 12 months (ideally 3 years) and in conjunction with ensuring dietary magnesium intakes compatible with the Magnesium RDA were checked and insufficiency corrected, throughout the trial.

    I was also concerned that in the introduction talk about a study that “revealed no significant effects of cholecalciferol (vitamin D2)” I suppose it’s just a typo but I’m surprised it wasn’t picked up.

    It’s also sad Vitamin D research continues to disregard Vitamin D cofactors such as magnesium and omega 3.

  2. Rita and Misty

    Iodine deficiency is a (more) serious deficiency than is recognized currently by either mainstream or alternative medicine.


    D, Iodine and selenium.

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