Vitamin D has been shown to ease pain in women with Type 2 diabetes and depression.
According to new study conducted at Loyola University Chicago and presented recently a campus research conference, a significant number of volunteers given weekly vitamin D2 supplementation (50,000 IUs) for six months reported a lessening of pain and their symptoms of depression.
At the start of the study, 61 percent of the women reported shooting or burning pain in their legs and feet (neuropathic pain) and 74 percent reported numbness and tingling in their hands, fingers, and legs (sensory pain). After three to six months of receiving the supplements, the patients reported a significant decrease in neuropathic and sensory pain.
"Pain is a common and often serious problem for women with Type 2 diabetes and depression," said lead researcher Todd Doyle, M.D., with the Loyola Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Neurosciences. "While further research is needed, D2 supplementation is a promising treatment for both pain and depression in Type 2 diabetes."
Type 2 diabetes is associated with depression and pain, but no prior studies have evaluated the use of vitamin D supplementation as a treatment, Dr. Doyle said.
Researchers now plan to study how the vitamin works to ease pain and depression, using funding from the National Institutes of Health.
"Vitamin D has widespread benefits for our health and certain chronic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes," said Sue Penckofer, a study co-author and professor at the Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. "This NIH grant will allow us to shed greater light on understanding the role that this nutrient plays in managing the health of women with diabetes."
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