Last updated: Feb 26, 2010
Our bodies make vitamin D naturally when exposed to sunlight. It only takes 10 to 15 minutes a day outside (without sunscreen) to make an adequate amount, but according to studies, about half of adults and 70% of children dont get enough. In a 2003 study, 93% of pain patients had low levels of vitamin D.The dietary reference intake was revised in 2010 to attempt to clear up conflicting messages about the importance of vitamin D. The current recommended dietary allowance for people up to age 70 is 600 international units (IU) per day of vitamin D. Adults older than 70 need 800 IU/day, with an upper limit of 4,000 IU/day deemed safe.
Screening for vitamin D deficiency is as easy as a blood test, and deficiency can be righted with a few minutes of sunscreen-free time in the sun, supplemental pills, or by incorporating foods like eggs, mushrooms, and salmonall natural carriers of vitamin Dinto a healthy diet.
Can vitamin D help fibro symptoms?
While more research is needed, experts believe supplementing with vitamin D may lessen pain, says Gregory A. Plotnikoff, MD, the medical director at the Penny George Institute for Health and Healing at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, in Minneapolis. “Many Americans are reporting that replenishing their vitamin D results in significantly reduced pain, increased energy, and better sense of well-being,” says Dr. Plotnikoff, who published a 2003 study of the link.