The sunshine vitamin shines again

Since we’re on the topic of vitamins today, let’s take a short trip from B to D…

If you’ve read even one-tenth of my Reality Health Check e-letters, you’ll know about the power of vitamin D. It’s an outrageously effective supplement, also on my Desert Island list because of everything from its ability to fight cancer and inflammatory bowel diseases, to improving mood and memory.

Now, a study adds yet another virtue to this vitamin’s comprehensive hit list. According to researchers, diabetic neuropathy–a painful condition–is associated with reduced vitamin D levels, regardless of sun exposure. That’s an independent association, which is significant.

The correlation is so great that researchers even noted that supplementation may play a potential role in the treatment of this condition. (When researchers are suggesting taking vitamins for actual treatment, you know the results must be impressive.)

Researchers studied 45 patients with type 2 diabetes: 17 with painful neuropathy, 14 with painless neuropathy, and 14 with no neuropathy. They also looked at 14 healthy volunteers. All had vitamin D levels measured between May and September and answered questionnaires to assess both symptom severity and their amount of sunlight exposure.

After adjusting for differences in age, BMI, and sunlight exposure, researchers found that vitamin D levels were significantly lower in the painful-neuropathy group: 34.34 nmol/L vs. readings of between 50.00 to 64.95 nmol/L for all the other groups. This is a significant difference.

If you or someone you love is suffering from the painful symptoms of neuropathy, and you’re not already supplementing with vitamin D, you should start today. I generally recommend 5,000 to 10,000 IU of vitamin D3 daily.

In addition, you may also want to consider supplementing with alpha lipoic acid (ALA) and l-carnitine. For more on these, see my past Reality Health Check issues in the archives, “Mega-doses pay off big against nerve pain”  and “Benefits of L-carnitine”.


“Low Vitamin D Levels Common in Painful Diabetic Neuropathy.” Medscape Medical News, May 15, 2015

American Diabetes Association 2015 Scientific Sessions; June 6, 2015: Boston, Massachusetts.Abstract 627-P