A study published in Scientific Reports found that vitamin D deficiency may raise the risk of chronic headache.
Researchers from the University of Eastern Finland conducted the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study (KIHD), which analyzed serum vitamin D levels and incidence of headache in about 2,600 middle-aged and older men in 1984–1989. Nearly 70% of these men had serum vitamin D levels <50nmol/L, which is typically the threshold for vitamin D deficiency. The occurrence of chronic headache happening at least weekly was reported by 250 men, and men reporting chronic headache had lower serum vitamin D levels than others.
When participants were stratified by serum vitamin D levels, the group with the lowest levels had more than a 2-fold risk of chronic headache vs. the group with the highest levels. Also, chronic headache occurrence was more frequently reported by men who were evaluated outside the summer months of June through September; average serum vitamin D levels are higher during the summer months.
Findings from the study further support the evidence associating low vitamin D intake with increased risk of chronic diseases. The 5-year Finnish Vitamin D Trial (FIND) at the University of Eastern Finland is currently assessing the impact of high daily doses of vitamin D (40mcg or 80mcg) on the risk factors and development of diseases. The study is also investigating the effects of vitamin D supplementation on other pain conditions.
Study authors added that large randomized vitamin D supplementation trials are needed to “elucidate the role of vitamin D supplementation as a prophylaxis or treatment for headache.”
For more information visit nature.com.