Can Vitamin D Help Arthritis?

Vitamin D plays a vital role in our wellbeing

Low Levels of Vitamin D Contribute to Arthritis

A Vitamin D deficiency is believed to be linked to a variety of diseases, including cancer, diabetes, and arthritis.  Arthritis can stem from an inadequate amount of the vitamin, and may even worsen from the deficiency. Taking Vitamin D for arthritis can help reduce symptoms.

Research studies have revealed that low levels of Vitamin D can radiate chronic pain symptoms for those suffering from arthritis, whereas a sufficient level of Vitamin D can relieve arthritis pain (and in some cases even eliminated the pain altogether).  Vitamin D seems to stall the breakdown of cartilage.  Many physicians are requesting that their patients undergo a simple blood test to evaluate their Vitamin D levels, as a first course of action, even before symptoms may arise. 

What is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D Structure
Vitamin D Structure

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps your body to absorb and maintain nutrients like Calcium and Phosphorus.  Vitamin D is an important element in the building blocks of our organs and tissues, including our bones, muscles, and ligaments.  Vitamin D is found in our food sources, with high levels in eggs, salmon, and milk.  You should know that not all dairy products contain Vitamin D; they must be Vitamin D fortified. 

The sun also provides our bodies with Vitamin D, but many individuals do not get enough direct sunlight.  For those with a fair skin tone, you must get 45 minutes of direct sunlight a week to absorb the amounts needed.  Darker skin tones may need much more, up to three hours per week.  You cannot be completely shielded from the sun, as this blocks the vitamin from entering your system.  You may want to keep your arms bare and you cannot wear any sun block (sun screen) on your skin during the recommended time.  The sunlight has to penetrate onto your skin without any obstacles standing in the way. 

You should talk to your doctor before taking any new medications, even if it is a vitamin supplement.  They will be able to advise you on how much Vitamin D would be appropriate for your age, weight, and health.

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