Tufts Study Finds Vitamin D is No Help for Arthritis Pain

vitamin dA new study conducted by researchers at Tuft Medical Center found that vitamin D may not be effective for arthritis pain relief. In the study, researchers gave a high amount of vitamin D, at least 2,000 international units per day, to the treatment group. This amount is significantly higher than the recommended daily amount of 600 to 800 IUs. The aim of the clinical trial was to see if this nutrient was effective in treating knee pain caused by arthritis.

In addition, the research team tested vitamin D blood levels in the individuals who were getting the supplements and increased supplementation up to 8,000 IUs per day if the blood levels did not rise enough with the lower supplement. Timothy McAlindon, head of rheumatology at Tufts Medical Center and a co-author of the study, explains that each patient was given “enough to get their levels up to a value that would be considered sufficient to help with their arthritis.”

The study determined that the participants who took the vitamin D supplements had the same improvement in pain compared to those who took the placebos and had similar changes in their knee cartilage on imaging tests, which is one way to monitor arthritis. Essentially, the results of the clinical trial showed that vitamin D didn’t work against the knee pain caused by arthritis when it was tested against a placebo.

Other recent studies have also found that vitamin D may not live up to its “disease -busting expectations”, finding that vitamin D supplements do not protect against colds or prevent osteoporosis in healthful women. In clinical trials, the only benefit seen thus far has been preventing falls in seniors.

Source: Journal of the American Medical Association