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Archive for January 10th, 2013

OA and Vitamin D

January 10, 2013

Calciferol (vitamin D) is a commonly recommended dietary supplement. This does not mean that it can help all medical problems.

It is well documented that sunlight increases happiness.  It does so by helping in Vitamin D synthesis which increases the release of seretonin.  Vitamin D has also been shown to effectively treat rickets and other types of bone diseases like osteoporosis.  Vitamin D manufacturers often prey on the american public through advertisement campaigns that describe supposed benefits of Vitamin D that are not supported by scientific literature.  For example, some advertisers claim that Vitamin D reduces your risk of catching the common cold.  Most recently pharmaceutical manufacturers have claimed that Vitamin D can help treat osteoarthritis.  This is not true.

Recent research at Tufts Medical Center examined 145 people with moderate knee pain and gave half of them Vitamin D supplements and the other half a placebo.  They found that Vitamin D “did not make any difference over the two-year period to how much pain they experienced or the amount of structural damage that occurred to cartilage or to the surrounding bone”.

This does not mean that Vitamin D is bad for you.  Vitamin D has numerous health benefits and has no side-effects.  But this does not mean that Vitamin D will help your knee pain, and this research shows that it has no effect on progression of osteoarthritis.  So, while it is recommended to increase levels of Vitamin D, do not generalize its benefits accross all that ails you.  Consult your physician and seek proven treatment for all diseases or pathologies as necessary.