Vitamin D3 News
Breaking news from:
 April 2012  
In This Issue
1)Vitamin D3, an alternative to pain- killing drugs
2) A study in rats may help women with fibroids
Women who experience painful menstrual cramps could find relief from high-dose Vitamin D3, according to  a placebo controlled trial, which demonstrates that Vitamin D3 provides an alternative to currently used painkilling drugs.

A single high dose of Vitamin D provides relief from menstural pain for two month's--a placebo controlled study.


Pain during mensturation (dysmenorrhea) is among the most common menstrual disorders, occurring in at least 50% of reproductive-age women. Dysmenorrhea is characterized by pelvic pain beginning shortly before the onset of menstruation and then lasting several days. The disorder results in substantial impairment in normal functioning and is among the most common cause of school and work absenteeism in pre-menstural women.


In this study, 40 women with a history of severe menstrual cramps were assigned to recieve either placebo or a single 300,000-IU dose of Vitamin D, five days prior to their next expected menstural period.


Patients in the placebo group had no change in scores relative to baseline. 


In the Vitamin D group, every participant reported at least some improvement: five patients by one point, eight by two points, four by three points, two by four points, and one with a six-point improvement. Averages for the entire group were 5.85 at baseline and 3.50 at the second post-treatment cycle (P<0.001).


Of the 20 women taking the 300,000-IU dose of vitamin D, 15 reported pain scores at least two points lower than their average over a four-cycle baseline period, on a standard 10-point visual analog scale, reported Antonino Lasco, MD, of the University of Messina in Italy, and his colleagues.


Additionally, no patients in the Vitamin D group reported using NSAID painkillers during the trial's treatment phase, whereas eight women in the placebo group took the medications at least once (P=0.003).


The 300,000-IU dose equates to about 5,000 IU/day, above the 4,000 IU/day that the Institute of Medicine indicated was the maximum tolerable dose but which many Vitamin D experts would argue is still not sufficient. 



Improvement of Primary Dysmenorrhea Caused by a Single Oral Dose of Vitamin D: L

asco et al.Arch Intern Med.2012; 172:366-367 

Study shows treatment with Vitamin D shrinks fibroid tumours in rats
While the study was only conducted in rats, this National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded study strongly suggests that treatment with Vitamin D may dramatically reduce the size of uterine fibroids.


Uterine fibroids are the most common noncancerous tumours in women of childbearing age. Fibroids grow within and around the wall of the uterus. Thirty per cent of women aged 25 to 44 report fibroid-related symptoms, such as lower back pain, heavy vaginal bleeding and painful menstrual periods. Uterine fibroids also are associated with infertility and such pregnancy related complications as miscarriage or preterm labour.


Other than surgical removal of the uterus, there are few treatment options for women experiencing severe fibroid-related symptoms and about 200,000 US women undergo the procedure each year. A recent analysis by NIH scientists estimated that the economic cost of fibroids to the United States, in terms of health care expenses and lost productivity, may exceed $34 billion a year.


In this study, the researchers tested Vitamin D treatment on a strain of rats genetically predisposed to developing fibroid tumours. After examining the animals and confirming the presence of fibroids in 12 of them, the researchers divided the rats into two groups of six each-- those that would receive Vitamin D and those that would not. 


In the first group, small pumps implanted under the skin delivered a continuous dose of Vitamin D for three weeks. The researchers then examined the animals in both groups. Fibroids increased in size in the untreated rats, but, in the rats receiving Vitamin D, the tumours had shrunk dramatically. On average, uterine fibroids in the group receiving Vitamin D were 75% smaller than those in the untreated group. 


The amount of Vitamin D the rats received each day was equivalent to a human dose of roughly 1,400 IU a smaller dose that what many Vitamin D experts are now advocating. 

"The study results provide a promising new lead in the search for a non-surgical treatment for fibroids that doesn't affect fertility," said Louis De Paolo, Ph.D., chief of the Reproductive Sciences Branch of the NIH's Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, which funded the study.



S. K. Halder, C. Sharan, A. Al-Hendy. 1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3 Treatment Shrinks Uterine Leiomyoma Tumors in the Eker Rat Model. Biology of Reproduction, 2012; DOI: 10.1095/biolreprod.111.098145

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