Vitamin D may reduce pain due to nerve injury or damage
Vitamin D may reduce pain due to nerve injury or damage, finds a new study.
Vitamin D may reduce neuropathic pain by modulating opioid signalling, finds a new study. The study has appeared in the journal Molecular Neurobiology.
Vitamin D is a hormone synthesized in the skin in the presence of sunlight. Like other hormones, vitamin D plays a role in a wide range of processes in the body. Oral intake from natural and fortified foodstuffs, as well as from supplementation, adds to vitamin D levels in the individual. Like other hormones, vitamin D plays a role in a wide range of processes in the body. Sufficient vitamin D levels are important not only for a healthy skeleton but also for a healthy immune system.
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Vitamin D has anti-inflammatory effects in the body by reducing the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines and suppressing T-cell responses.
The impact of vitamin D on sensory function, including pain processing, has been receiving increasing attention. Indeed, vitamin D deficiency is associated with various chronic pain conditions, and several lines of evidence indicate that vitamin D supplementation may trigger pain relief. However, the underlying mechanisms of action remain poorly understood.
The researchers led by Dr Poisbeau P used inflammatory and non-inflammatory rat models of chronic pain to evaluate the benefits of vitamin D on pain symptoms. They found that Vitamin D supplementation improved mechanical nociceptive thresholds in monoarthritic animals and reduced mechanical hyperalgesia and cold allodynia in a model of mononeuropathy.
Transcriptomic analysis of cerebrum, dorsal root ganglia, and spinal cord tissues indicate that Vitamin D supplementation induces a massive gene dysregulation which, in the cerebrum, is associated with opioid signaling (23 genes), nociception (14), and allodynia (8), and, in the dorsal root ganglia, with axonal guidance (37 genes) and nociception (17). Among the identified cerebral dysregulated nociception-, allodynia-, and opioid-associated genes, 21 can be associated with vitamin D metabolism. However, it appears that their expression is modulated by intermediate regulators such as diverse protein kinases and not, as expected, by the vitamin D receptor. Overall, several genes-Oxt, Pdyn, Penk, Pomc, Pth, Tac1, and Tgfb1-encoding for peptides/hormones stand out as top candidates to explain the therapeutic benefit of vitamin D supplementation. Further studies are now warranted to detail the precise mechanisms of action but also the most favorable doses and time windows for pain relief.
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