The Sunshine Vitamin Reduces Arthritis Symptoms

Vitamin D, often known as “the sunshine vitamin” because of the way our bodies naturally synthesize it after sun exposure, is such a common vitamin that people may take it for granted. But that would be a mistake.

Vitamin D is essential for bolstering the immune system, preserving cognitive function, and for helping build strong bones and joints – and reducing osteoarthritis symptoms.

This clinical study showed that high-dose supplementation with vitamin D (in a D2 form, ergocalciferol, which needs to be converted into D3 in the body) not only helped build up levels of the nutrients in patients with knee osteoarthritis, but improved their quality of life, too.

After six months of supplementation, individuals in this study not only had better grip strength and physical performance related to their arthritis pain, but also had lower levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and lower levels of parathyroid hormone. Left unchecked, high levels of parathyroid hormone can lead to increased levels of calcium in the blood vessels, fatigue, kidney stones, and high blood pressure. The fact that vitamin D supplementation can improve conditions for multiple concerns shows how important it is to overall health. One simple way to include vitamin D in your regimen is by using the D3 form – cholecalciferol – which is already in the form the body synthesizes.


Manoy P, Yuktanandana P, Tanavalee A, et al. Vitamin D Supplementation Improves Quality of Life and Physical Performance in Osteoarthritis Patients. Nutrients. 2017;9(8):799.

(1) Background: Lower levels of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) are common in osteoarthritis (OA) patients. However, the effect of vitamin D supplementation on muscle strength and physical performance remains unclear. This study will investigate the effects of vitamin D₂ supplementation on muscle strength and physical performance in knee OA patients; (2) Methods: One hundred and seventy-five primary knee OA patients with low levels of serum 25(OH)D (<30 ng/mL) received 40,000 IU vitamin D₂ (ergocalciferol) per week for six months. Body composition, muscle strength, physical performance, serum 25(OH)D level, leptin, interlukin-6 (IL-6), parathyroid hormone (PTH), protein carbonyl, and metabolic profile were analyzed; (3) Results: Baseline mean serum 25(OH)D levels in knee OA patients was 20.73 ng/mL. Regarding baseline vitamin D status, 58.90% of patients had vitamin D insufficiency, and 41.10% had vitamin D deficiency. After vitamin D₂ supplementation for six months, mean serum 25(OH)D level was 32.14 ng/mL. For post-supplementation vitamin D status, 57.10% of patients had vitamin D sufficiency and 42.90% had vitamin D insufficiency. From baseline to six months, there was a significant increase in mean serum 25(OH)D level (p < 0.001), while mean LDL cholesterol (p = 0.001), protein carbonyl (p = 0.04), and PTH (p = 0.005) all significantly decreased. Patient quality of life (SF-12) and pain (visual analog scale, VAS) both improved significantly from baseline to the six-month time point (p = 0.005 and p = 0.002, respectively). Knee OA patients demonstrated significant improvement grip strength and physical performance measurements after vitamin D₂ supplementation (p < 0.05); (4) Conclusions: Vitamin D₂ supplementation for six months reduced oxidative protein damage, decreased pain (VAS), improved quality of life, and improved grip strength and physical performance in osteoarthritis patients.

Follow this link for the complete study: Vitamin D Supplementation Improves Quality of Life and Physical Performance in Osteoarthritis Patients

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Terry is happy to provide his opinion on diet and nutrition, supplements and lifestyle choices. This information is for educational purposes only. It is not meant to replace the advice of your physician and is not to be considered medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Should you have any concerns please contact your physician directly.

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