Thursday, November 10, 2016

Vitamin D Eases Depression, Fatigue in Spinal Cord Patients

For patients with spinal cord injury who have insufficient levels of vitamin D, supplements can improve symptoms of depression and fatigue, according to a report presented to the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2016 Annual Assembly.

And in these patients, pain severity scores were significantly better with high-dose supplements than with low-dose supplements.

"We need to screen everyone with spinal cord injury for vitamin D," said the lead author.

In the study, all patients had levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D were below 30, even those that hailed from "sunny California".

Patients randomly allocated to the low-dose group received 800 IU of vitamin D daily for 6 months. Those randomly assigned to the high-dose group received 2000 IU daily for 6 months if their baseline blood levels were 20 to 30. They received 4000 IU daily for 1 month and 2000 IU daily for 5 months if their baseline blood levels were lower than 20.

During the study period, all patients experienced a significant increase in average 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels. High-dose supplementation was associated with a significant decrease in depression and fatigue.

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