According to new research from the University of Eastern Finland, vitamin D deficiency may increase the risk of developing chronic headaches, including migraines. For the study, researchers went back and evaluated the serum levels from around 2,600 men between the ages of 42 and 60 year of age. The subjects were part of the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study (KIHD) that took place between 1984–1989. The study population was divided into four groups based on their serum vitamin D concentration.
The group with the lowest vitamin D levels had a twofold risk of developing chronic headache.
It was discovered that the group with the lowest vitamin D levels had over a twofold risk of developing chronic headache in comparison to the group with the highest levels. Chronic headache was also more frequently reported by men who were examined outside the summer months of June through September. which was likely due to these men having lower vitamin D levels due to not receiving as much UVB radiation compared to the men examined in the summer months.
Migraines are a leading cause of disability.
Migraines and other primary headaches are among the leading causes of disability and health problems in the modern working population. Many individuals take over the counter painkillers such as Tylenol or ibuprofen which may provide temporary relief but cause other problems including nausea, stomach upset and rash.
Can sun exposure and smart supplementation eliminate headaches and the need for pain killers?
Insufficiency is usually defined as having 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OHD) levels below 30 ng/ml while those considered to be vitamin D deficient have levels below 20 ng/ml. It is estimated that up to 85% of Americans have insufficient levels. Although we can synthesize vitamin D from UVB rays from the sun, there are many factors that hinder this process, including sunscreen and the limited time frame during the year that UVB rays are present in adequate concentrations. This is where supplementation can be beneficial.
Safe and effective vitamin D supplementation.
Supplementation is the most consistent and reliable source of vitamin D. If using a high quality product and the correct form of of the vitamin these products can result in significant increases in serum vitamin D levels. Aceva’s Active D and Active D Plus contain the best absorbed dietary form of vitamin D. Active D is a liquid form of vitamin D that also contains vitamin K2, an important nutrient that aids vitamin D in promoting healthy bones and teeth. Active D Plus is a capsule that contains a higher concentration of vitamin D (5,000 IU) along with essential nutrients that assist in vitamin D metabolism in the body, including vitamin K2, vitamin A and magnesium.
Where do you stand in regard to your vitamin D levels?
Aceva offers an easy and convenient dried blood spot (DBS) test to determine your serum vitamin D levels called the Vitamin D/Hemoglobin A1C profile (VAP). No blood draw or fasting is required; all that is needed is a small finger stick, in which a few drops of blood are dropped on a collection card. DBS testing has been shown to be just as reliable and accurate as serum blood draw testing for testing both serum vitamin D and hemoglobin A1C levels. At an extremely affordable price and with the addition of the hemoglobin A1C (a marker indicating long term blood sugar control and an indirect marker of inflammation), Aceva’s Vitamin D/Hemoglobin A1C profile is an extremely cost effective test that provides excellent clinical utility.
1. Smitherman, T. A., Burch, R., Sheikh, H. & Loder, E. The prevalence, impact, and treatment of migraine and severe headaches in the United States: a review of statistics from national surveillance studies. Headache 53, 427–436 (2013)
2. Virtanen, Jyrki K., et al. “Low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D is associated with higher risk of frequent headache in middle-aged and older men.” Scientific Reports 7 (2017).