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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(10), 2170; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18102170

Vitamin D in Pain Management

1
ASIH Stockholm Södra, Långbro Park, Palliative Home Care and Hospice Ward, Bergtallsvägen 12, SE-125 59 Älvsjö, Sweden
2
Department of Laboratory Medicine, Division of Clinical Microbiology, Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska University Hospital, Huddinge, SE-141 86 Stockholm, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 August 2017 / Revised: 29 September 2017 / Accepted: 11 October 2017 / Published: 18 October 2017
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Abstract

Vitamin D is a hormone synthesized in the skin in the presence of sunlight. Like other hormones, vitamin D plays a role in a wide range of processes in the body. Here we review the possible role of vitamin D in nociceptive and inflammatory pain. In observational studies, low vitamin D levels have been associated with increased pain and higher opioid doses. Recent interventional studies have shown promising effects of vitamin D supplementation on cancer pain and muscular pain—but only in patients with insufficient levels of vitamin D when starting intervention. Possible mechanisms for vitamin D in pain management are the anti-inflammatory effects mediated by reduced cytokine and prostaglandin release and effects on T-cell responses. The recent finding of vitamin D-mediated inhibition of Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) is especially interesting and exhibits a credible mechanistic explanation. Having reviewed current literature, we suggest that patients with deficient levels defined as 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OHD) levels <30 nmol/L are most likely to benefit from supplementation, while individuals with 25-OHD >50 nmol/L probably have little benefit from supplementation. Our conclusion is that vitamin D may constitute a safe, simple and potentially beneficial way to reduce pain among patients with vitamin D deficiency, but that more randomized and placebo-controlled studies are needed before any firm conclusions can be drawn. View Full-Text
Keywords: vitamin D; pain; opioid; infections; quality of life; cancer; statins; myopathy vitamin D; pain; opioid; infections; quality of life; cancer; statins; myopathy
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Helde-Frankling, M.; Björkhem-Bergman, L. Vitamin D in Pain Management. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 2170.

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