People come to One Love Fit Club in Chino Hills, CA, to workout hard and get into shape. That can’t happen if they’re in pain. That’s one reason I get so many questions about joint and knee pain. Some people have read about the benefits of vitamin D to solve this pain. Is it helpful? If so, why? I’m always looking for natural and nutritional ways to help combat the problems of everyday life. That’s one reason I decided to look into the potential effectiveness of vitamin D for knee and other joint pain.
What is vitamin D?
Vitamin D does a lot of things for your body. In fact, it’s beneficial to help boost your immune system. Technically, it’s not a vitamin but a steroid hormone, similar to sex hormones and adrenal. It comes from cholesterol that’s converted to pre-vitamin D3 when the sun hits it. However, melanin blocks the sun, so people with darker skin may not get enough from sun exposure. The same is true of those that wear sun block. Like a hormone, vitamin D binds to receptors and stimulates reactions with all cells.
Vitamin D plays a role in many functions.
Vitamin D is important for the absorption of calcium to make stronger bones and teeth. It provides protection from multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, cancer and boosts your immune system. It helps boost lung and cardiovascular health while protecting the brain and nervous system. During the pandemic, studies showed that groups who had low vitamin D levels, such as the obese and people of darker skin color with more melanin that blocked the sun’s rays, also had the most instances of covid-19. A deficiency in vitamin D can even affect mental health.
Vitamin D deficiency can also cause increased muscle and joint pain.
Studies aren’t conclusive, but there is a lot of data that points to low levels of vitamin D as one of the culprits that can increase knee and other joint pain. Rheumatoid arthritis—RA—pain can occur in the hips, knees and legs due to a deficiency of vitamin D. Studies indicate vitamin D may be anti-inflammatory. Studies show that chronic deficiency may lead to RA. One study showed that people with RA had a higher incidence of D deficiency. Another research project noted a D deficiency put people at risk of inflammatory diseases, while a third showed that the evidence is not strong enough to firmly link D deficiency with chronic knee and joint pain.
- Studies show that about 42% of the population are vitamin D deficient. Studies show that D supplements reduced respiratory infections and a recent study of 216 covid patients showed 80% had a vitamin D deficiency.
- Safe sunning means sunning at noon when it’s at its highest point for 13 minutes three times a week for Caucasian adults at the latitude of the UK, longer if further north. Use sun block at other times. The darker your skin, the more sun you need. People with darker skin need 30 minutes to three hours more.
- It’s hard to get vitamin D from your diet, but some foods do contain higher amounts, such as salmon caught in the wild, tuna, mackerel, eggs, sardines; beef liver, cod liver oil and mushrooms.
- People who live north of 37 degrees above the equator (approximately level with Atlanta, Georgia) will find it next to impossible to get adequate sun in the winter. Choosing high vitamin D foods and supplements are the logical choice at those times.
For more information, contact us today at One Love Fit Club