Vitamin D: Chronic Pain & New Immigrants

Reference:Straube S, Moore RA, Derry S, Hallier E, McQuay HJ. Vitamin d and chronic pain in immigrant and ethnic minority patients-investigation of the relationship and comparison with native Western populations. Int J Endocrinol. 2010;2010:753075. Epub 2009 Oct 19.

All animals and human beings need Vitamin D! Several papers, case studies and clinical trials have shown anassociation between Vitamin D deficiency and chronic ‘unexplained’ musculoskeletal pain. Some have also shown the rapid improvements in pain in those receiving Vitamin D supplementation.

However, there is still controversy in the association between Vitamin D and Chronic pain. This may be due to the fact that studies are done in different countries and on different populations E.g. Americans vs. Arabs. What is consistently shown is that immigrant and ethnic populations (non-white) have significantly lower vitamin D levels than native Western populations (white).

A 2010 systematic review found that 25-OH vitamin D levels were low and often deficient in immigrant/ethnic minority populations.

What decreases Vitamin D absorption?


  • Living in Canada during the winter months, cloudy days, or indoors all day
  • Lack of direct skin exposure to sunlight (e.g. wearing veils or sunscreen all the time)
  • Having darker skinQuestion: How do animals with fur or feathers get their vitamin D, since the sun never directly reaches their skin?

    Answer: The outer layers of a bird or a cats skin makes pro-vitamin D that is carried to their feathers or fur which are exposed to the sun. Animals then get their vitamin D by licking off their oily secretions when grooming themselves.

    Note: There is no benefit in us licking our skin though, so don?t bother. Either get direct sunlight or get supplements!
    Posted on: May 07, 2010

    Categories: Modalities / Meds / Supplements

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