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Vitamin D decreases pain in women with type 2 diabetes and depression

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Vitamin D decreases pain in women with type 2 diabetes and depression, according to a study conducted at Loyola University Chicago. These findings were presented at an Oct. 24, 2013 research conference at Loyola’s Health Sciences Campus, according to a December 2, 2013 news release, "Vitamin D decreases pain in women with type 2 diabetes and depression."

Type 2 diabetes is associated with depression and pain, but few studies have looked at how pain may affect the treatment of depression in patients with type 2 diabetes and no studies have evaluated the role of vitamin D supplementation on this association. Loyola Health Sciences research demonstrates some additional benefits of a vitamin D supplement.

Researchers in this study tested the efficacy of weekly vitamin D2 supplementation (50,000 IUs) for six months on depression in women with type 2 diabetes. Depression significantly improved following supplementation. In addition, 61 percent of patients 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) at the beginning of the study. Researchers found a significant decrease in neuropathic and sensory pain at three and six months following vitamin D2 supplementation.

“Pain is a common and often serious problem for women with type 2 diabetes and depression,” said Todd Doyle, PhD, according to the news release, Vitamin D decreases pain in women with type 2 diabetes and depression. Doyle is a lead author and fellow, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine (SSOM). “While further research is needed, D2 supplementation is a promising treatment for both pain and depression in type 2 diabetes.”

Loyola researchers have received funding from the National Institute of Nursing Research to conduct a trial comparing the effects of two different doses of vitamin D3 supplements on health outcomes in women with diabetes

“Vitamin D has widespread benefits for our health and certain chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes,” said Sue Penckofer, PhD, RN, according to the news release. Penckofer is the study's co-author and professor, 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.” Other study authors included Patricia Mumby, PhD, professor, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Neurosciences, Mary Anne Emanuele, MD, professor, Department of Endocrinology & Metabolism, SSOM; Mary Alice Byrn, PhD, assistant professor, Department of Nursing, St. Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Ind.; and Diane E. Wallis, MD, Midwest Heart Specialists, Downers Grove, Ill.

The Loyola University Chicago Health Sciences Division (HSD) advances interprofessional, multidisciplinary, and transformative education and research while promoting service to others through stewardship of scientific knowledge and preparation of tomorrow's leaders. The HSD is located on the Health Sciences Campus in Maywood, Illinois. It includes the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, the Stritch School of Medicine, the biomedical research programs of the Graduate School, and several other institutes and centers encouraging new research and interprofessional education opportunities across all of Loyola University Chicago. The faculty and staff of the HSD bring a wealth of knowledge, experience, and a strong commitment to seeing that Loyola's health sciences continue to excel and exceed the standard for academic and research excellence. For more on the HSD, visit LUC.edu/hsd.

How vitamin D boosts energy

Just don't take an excess of vitamin D, if you take it in supplement form because it's fat-soluble and builds up in your body. You don't want it accumulating so much that it causes health problems.

Vitamin D has been proven to boost energy -- from within the cells. Vitamin D is vital for making our muscles work efficiently and boosting energy levels, new research from Newcastle University has shown. A study led by Dr Akash Sinha has shown that muscle function improves with Vitamin D supplements which are thought to enhance the activity of the mitochondria, the batteries of the cell.

A hormone normally produced in the skin using energy from sunlight, Vitamin D can also be found in a few foods – including fish, fish liver oils, egg yolks and fortified cereals but it can also be effectively boosted with Vitamin D supplements.

It is thought around 60% of people in the UK are vitamin D deficient, with children under five, people with dark skin and the elderly being particularly vulnerable. While it has a well-established association with helping in bone formation and a deficiency can lead to rickets, its role in other health issues is just emerging. The researchers used non-invasive magnetic resonance scans to measure the response to exercise in 12 patients with severe deficiency before and after treatment with vitamin D.

Lead author Dr Akash Sinha who also works within the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said, according to the April 5, 2013 news release, Vitamin D proven to boost energy -- from within the cells, "The scans provided a unique window into what is really going on in the muscle as it works. Examining this small group of patients with vitamin D deficiency who experienced symptoms of muscle fatigue, we found that those with very low vitamin D levels improved their muscle efficiency significantly when their vitamin D levels were improved."

Alongside poor bone health, muscle fatigue is a common symptom in vitamin D deficient patients

This fatigue could be due to reduced efficiency of the mitochondria: the 'power stations' within each cell of the body. Mitochondria use glucose and oxygen to make energy in a form that can be used to run the cell - an energy-rich molecule called ATP. Muscle cells need large amounts of ATP for movement and they use phosphocreatine as a ready and available energy source to make ATP. The mitochondria also replenish this phosphocreatine store after muscle contraction and measuring the time taken to replenish these stores is a measure of mitochondrial efficiency: better mitochondrial function is associated with shorter phosphocreatine recovery times.

The team found that these recovery rates significantly improved after the patients took a fixed dose of oral vitamin D for 10-12 weeks. The average phosphocreatine recovery half time decreased from 34.4 sec to 27.8 sec. All patients reported an improvement in symptoms of fatigue after having taken the supplements. In a parallel study, the group demonstrated that low Vitamin D levels were associated with reduced mitochondrial function.

Dr Sinha added in the April 5, 2013 news release, Vitamin D proven to boost energy -- from within the cells, "We have proved for the first time a link between vitamin D and mitochondria function. Of the patients I see, around 60% are vitamin D deficient and most people living north of Manchester will struggle to process enough vitamin D from sunlight alone, particularly during winter and spring.

So a simple vitamin D tablet could help boost your energy levels – from within the cells." Check out the abstract of the original study, "Improving the Vitamin D status of Vitamin D deficient adults is associated with improved mitochondrial oxidative function in skeletal muscle." Journal of Endocrinology. Authors are Akash Sinha, Kieren Hollingsworth, Steve Ball, and Tim Cheetham.

In an older 2009 study, researchers found that low vitamin D levels raised blood pressure in women

A Michigan study shows that low vitamin D raises blood pressure in women. See the Reuters news article, "Low vitamin D raises blood pressure in women: study." The study funded by the U.S. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases has been published on September 23, 2009. Researchers presented their findings at a 2009 meeting of the American Heart Association in Chicago.

Researchers in Michigan, who examined data on 559 women beginning in 1992, found that those with low levels of vitamin D were more likely to have high blood pressure 15 years later in 2007. The results of the study revealed that "younger white women with vitamin D deficiencies are about three times more likely to have high blood pressure in middle age than those with normal vitamin levels."

Researchers measured vitamin D blood levels at the outset and took blood pressure readings once a year. In 2007, they compared systolic readings -- the top number in blood pressure results that indicates the pressure within blood vessels when the heart beats.

More than 10 percent of women with vitamin D deficiencies had high blood pressure in 2007 when the study began

More than 10 percent of women with vitamin D deficiencies had high blood pressure in 2007, versus 3.7 percent of those with sufficient levels. When the study began, 5.5 percent with deficiencies also had high blood pressure, compared to 2.8 percent with normal vitamin D.

Almost half the population worldwide has lower-than-optimal levels of vitamin D and researchers say the problem is worsening as people spend more time indoors. African-Americans seem at especially high risk as dark skin can make it harder for the body to absorb ultraviolet light. That's why fitness activities should be part of women's activities, especially for those indoors most of the day.

Is your city far 'south' enough to give you enough vitamin D if you're outdoors for 15 minutes a day?

Not really. Even people living in Florida may be short on the type of sunshine you need to get enough vitamin D. That's because being out in the sun only gives you a specific amount of UV rays, but you need another type of sun rays to get enough vitamin D.

What's the difference between UV-A and UV-B levels or between SPF and UVA? Higher SPF ratings doesn't necessarily mean stronger UV protection. It means longer protection. Here's the difference, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and experts on the Skin Cancer Foundation's Photobiology Committee. Also see the jaxmed wellness site that explains the differences.

You may be getting UVA or you may be getting UVB. Which type of sunrays do you need to make vitamin D? Your body makes vitamin D when you're exposed to the ultraviolet B (UVB rays) from sunlight. Depending on how your skin reacts to sunlight, you probably need anywhere from just 5 minutes to up to 30 minutes of sunlight. See the article, "Vitamin D From Sunlight - How Much Sun Exposure We Need For Vitamin D.

UVA (ultraviolet-A): refers to a long- wave solar rays of 320-400 nanometers (billionths of a meter). Although less likely than UVB to cause sunburn, UVA penetrates the skin more deeply, and is considered the chief culprit behind wrinkling, leathering, and other aspects of "photoaging." The latest studies show that UVA not only increases UVB 's cancer-causing effects, but may directly cause some skin cancers, including melanomas.

UVB (ultraviolet-B): refers to a short-wave solar rays of 290-320 nanometers. More potent than UVA in producing sunburn, these rays are considered the main cause of basal and squamous cell carcinomas as well as a significant cause of melanoma.

Spending too much time indoors?

Studies report that many women (even more than numerous men in offices behind machinery or computers) are spending too much time indoors, worsening the levels of vitamin D3 they need to help prevent high blood pressure later in life, due to low levels of vitamin D. The natural "fish oil" form of vitamin D3 is better than the 'vegetarian' form of vitamin D2 that's usually put into various milk substitutes or other beverages, or even added to some types of milk.

Early vitamin D deficiency may increase the long-term risk of high blood pressure in women at mid-life. The women in the latest blood pressure study lived in Tecumseh, Michigan, and were 24 to 44 years old with an average age of 38, when the research began.

Then again, you may have a genetic variation that suggests you get your vitamin D from sunlight and foods rather than supplements. Check out the article, Could the vitamin D you take possibly be calcifying your aorta?

If you have a gene variation, does vitamin D cause calcification of your aorta? See the article at the CAT. Inst. site. Another article in the Journal of Vascular Research, Aortic Calcification Produced by Vitamin D3 plus Nicotine, notes that “Calcification of the elastic arteries of the young rat by treatment with vitamin D and nicotine (VDN) has been proposed as an animal model of arterial calcification associated with age and age-related vascular pathology in man.

If you have hypertension, make sure you also don't have a specific gene variation that affects the way vitamin D makes changes to your arteries, particularly your aorta. You hear all the talk about increasing your daily natural vitamin D3 intake from 400 mg to at least 1,000 mg to prevent arterial calcification, bone loss, and certain diseases.

Some health-focused radio talk shows may recommend 2,000 mg. And various doctors may talk about 5,000 mg of vitamin D3 in people with very low vitamin D3 levels on blood tests. But how much vitamin D is absorbed into your cells, not just in your blood? Have a test to find out whether you have a vitamin D deficiency in the first place. How much is too much for you, since the fat-soluble vitamin D builds up in the body. You don't want it to build up to toxic levels.

See the conclusion of the article in the MD Consult Preview, The vitamin D receptor genotype predisposes to the development of calcific aortic valve stenosis. - Ortlepp JR - Heart - 01-JUN-2001; 85(6): 635-8 (MEDLINE is the source for the citation and abstract of this record) that notes, “There is a significant association of vitamin D receptor polymorphism with calcific aortic valve stenosis. The B allele of the vitamin D receptor is more common in patients with calcific aortic valve stenosis. It now needs to be evaluated whether other genes that control calcium homeostasis are involved in the pathogenesis of this disorder.”

A Michigan study shows that low vitamin D levels in the body raises blood pressure in women

You may wish to check out the Reuters news article, "Low vitamin D raises blood pressure in women: study." The study funded by the U.S. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases has been published on September 23, 2009. Researchers presented their findings at a 2009 meeting of the American Heart Association in Chicago.

Researchers in Michigan, who examined data on 559 women beginning in 1992, found that those with low levels of vitamin D were more likely to have high blood pressure 15 years later in 2007. The results of the study revealed that "younger white women with vitamin D deficiencies are about three times more likely to have high blood pressure in middle age than those with normal vitamin levels."

Researchers measured vitamin D blood levels at the outset and took blood pressure readings once a year. In 2007, they compared systolic readings -- the top number in blood pressure results that indicates the pressure within blood vessels when the heart beats.

More than 10 percent of women with vitamin D deficiencies had high blood pressure in 2007 when the study began

More than 10 percent of women with vitamin D deficiencies had high blood pressure in 2007, versus 3.7 percent of those with sufficient levels. When the study began, 5.5 percent with deficiencies also had high blood pressure, compared to 2.8 percent with normal vitamin D.

Almost half the population worldwide has lower-than-optimal levels of vitamin D and researchers say the problem is worsening as people spend more time indoors. African-Americans seem at especially high risk as dark skin can make it harder for the body to absorb ultraviolet light. That's why fitness activities should be part of women's activities, especially for those indoors most of the day.

Is your city far 'south' enough to give you enough vitamin D if you're outdoors for 15 minutes a day?

Not really. Even people living in Florida may be short on the type of sunshine you need to get enough vitamin D. That's because being out in the sun only gives you a specific amount of UV rays, but you need another type of sun rays to get enough vitamin D.

What's the difference between UV-A and UV-B levels or between SPF and UVA? Higher SPF ratings doesn't necessarily mean stronger UV protection. It means longer protection. Here's the difference, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and experts on the Skin Cancer Foundation's Photobiology Committee. Also see the jaxmed wellness site that explains the differences.

You may be getting UVA or you may be getting UVB. Which type of sunrays do you need to make vitamin D? Your body makes vitamin D when you're exposed to the ultraviolet B (UVB rays) from sunlight. Depending on how your skin reacts to sunlight, you probably need anywhere from just 5 minutes to up to 30 minutes of sunlight. See the article, "Vitamin D From Sunlight - How Much Sun Exposure We Need For Vitamin D.

UVA (ultraviolet-A): refers to a long- wave solar rays of 320-400 nanometers (billionths of a meter). Although less likely than UVB to cause sunburn, UVA penetrates the skin more deeply, and is considered the chief culprit behind wrinkling, leathering, and other aspects of "photoaging." The latest studies show that UVA not only increases UVB 's cancer-causing effects, but may directly cause some skin cancers, including melanomas.

UVB (ultraviolet-B): refers to a short-wave solar rays of 290-320 nanometers. More potent than UVA in producing sunburn, these rays are considered the main cause of basal and squamous cell carcinomas as well as a significant cause of melanoma.

Spending too much time indoors?

Studies report that many women (even more than numerous men in offices behind machinery or computers) are spending too much time indoors, worsening the levels of vitamin D3 they need to help prevent high blood pressure later in life, due to low levels of vitamin D. The natural "fish oil" form of vitamin D3 is better than the 'vegetarian' form of vitamin D2 that's usually put into various milk substitutes or other beverages, or even added to some types of milk.

Early vitamin D deficiency may increase the long-term risk of high blood pressure in women at mid-life. The women in the latest blood pressure study lived in Tecumseh, Michigan, and were 24 to 44 years old with an average age of 38, when the research began.

Then again, you may have a genetic variation that suggests you get your vitamin D from sunlight and foods rather than supplements. Check out the article, Could the vitamin D you take possibly be calcifying your aorta?

If you have a gene variation, does vitamin D cause calcification of your aorta? See the article at the CAT. Inst. site. Another article in the Journal of Vascular Research, Aortic Calcification Produced by Vitamin D3 plus Nicotine, notes that “Calcification of the elastic arteries of the young rat by treatment with vitamin D and nicotine (VDN) has been proposed as an animal model of arterial calcification associated with age and age-related vascular pathology in man.

If you have hypertension, make sure you also don't have a specific gene variation that affects the way vitamin D makes changes to your arteries, particularly your aorta. You hear all the talk about increasing your daily natural vitamin D3 intake from 400 mg to at least 1,000 mg to prevent arterial calcification, bone loss, and certain diseases. Radio talk shows may recommend 2,000 mg. And some doctors talk about 5,000 mg of vitamin D3 in people with very low vitamin D3 levels on blood tests. But how much vitamin D is absorbed into your cells, not just in your blood? Have a test to find out whether you have a vitamin D deficiency in the first place.

See the conclusion of the article in the MD Consult Preview, The vitamin D receptor genotype predisposes to the development of calcific aortic valve stenosis. - Ortlepp JR - Heart - 01-JUN-2001; 85(6): 635-8 (MEDLINE is the source for the citation and abstract of this record) that notes, “There is a significant association of vitamin D receptor polymorphism with calcific aortic valve stenosis. The B allele of the vitamin D receptor is more common in patients with calcific aortic valve stenosis. It now needs to be evaluated whether other genes that control calcium homeostasis are involved in the pathogenesis of this disorder.”

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