According to a study published in February 2014, vitamin D supplementation reduces pain in subjects with fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is characterized by widespread pain, abnormal pain processing, sleep disturbance, fatigue and often psychological distress.
The subjects included 30 women with fibromyalgia syndrome and serum calcifediol (25-hydroxyvitamin D) levels less than 32ng/mL (80nmol/L). The investigators randomly assigned the women to receive oral supplementation with cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) or placebo for 20 weeks. The researchers evaluated the subjects at the beginning of the study, after the 20 weeks supplementation period and again after an additional 24 weeks without supplementation.
The subjects completed several questionnaires including the Short Form Health Survey 36, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire and the Somatization subscale of Symptom Checklist-90-Revised.
The researchers determined that the cholecalciferol group had marked reduction in pain over the treatment period, which correlated to scores on the physical role functioning scale of the Short Form Health Survey 36.
The investigators concluded, “Optimization of calcifediol levels in fibromyalgia syndrome had a positive effect on the perception of pain. This economical therapy with a low side effect profile may well be considered in patients with fibromyalgia syndrome. However, further studies with larger patient numbers are needed to prove the hypothesis.”