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Review

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.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(10), 2170; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18102170
Received: 25 August 2017 / Revised: 29 September 2017 / Accepted: 11 October 2017 / Published: 18 October 2017
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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MDPI and ACS Style

Helde-Frankling, M.; Björkhem-Bergman, L. Vitamin D in Pain Management. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 2170. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18102170

AMA Style

Helde-Frankling M, Björkhem-Bergman L. Vitamin D in Pain Management. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2017; 18(10):2170. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18102170

Chicago/Turabian Style

Helde-Frankling, Maria, and Linda Björkhem-Bergman. 2017. "Vitamin D in Pain Management" International Journal of Molecular Sciences 18, no. 10: 2170. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18102170

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