Posted on Mon, 5 Mar 12
A remarkable new study has found that a single dose of vitamin D reduced period pain by 41% and eliminated the need for anti-inflammatory drugs.
A group of 40 women with primary dysmenorrhea (pelvic pain beginning shortly before the onset of menses or at the beginning of menstrual flow and then lasting several days) were given either a single dose of vitamin D (300 000 IU of vitamin D3) 5 days before the start of their menstrual period or placebo.
After 2 months pain scores had decreased by 41% in women taking vitamin D while there was no decrease in the placebo group. Further, no women in the vitamin D group reported needing anti-inflammatory drugs, while 40% in the placebo group took medication at least once.
“To our knowledge, this is the first study investigating the effect of a single high dose of vitamin D in primary dysmenorrhea.” Commented the investigators. “Our data support the use of vitamin D3 in these patients, especially when exhibiting low levels of blood vitamin D, and allow these women to limit the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.”
In an accompanying editorial it was noted “…vitamin D supplementation may become an important new treatment option for women who experience menstrual pain disorders.” And based on these findings women should obtain the recommended dietary allowance (RDI) of vitamin D and test blood levels if at risk for deficiency.
However the amount of vitamin D used in this study would equate to approximately 5000 IU daily, a safe intake and significantly more that the heavily criticised RDI.
Antonino Lasco, Antonino Catalano, and Salvatore Benvenga. Improvement of Primary Dysmenorrhea Caused by a Single Oral Dose of Vitamin D: Results of a Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-Controlled Study. Arch Intern Med. 2012;172(4):366-367.
Bertone-Johnson E, Manson J. Vitamin D for Menstrual and Pain-Related Disorders in Women. Comment on "Improvement of Primary Dysmenorrhea Caused by a Single Oral Dose of Vitamin D." Arch Intern Med. 2012;172(4):367-369.