Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, 13 Aug 2008
Researchers who studied nearly 7000 British 45-year-olds found that almost 15 per cent of women with the lowest levels of the vitamin reported experiencing chronic pain - nearly twice the 8.2 per cent prevalence reported among women with higher readings.
However, vitamin D levels appeared to make no difference to the number of men who reported pain symptoms - leaving the study's authors perplexed as to whether lack of vitamin D in women was the cause.
Osteomalacia, a disease caused by extreme vitamin D deficiency is known to cause bone pain.
Medical data from 6824 Britons were examined between 2002 and 2004, when they were aged 45. Information was collected on their smoking and alcohol habits, time spent outdoors, time spent watching television or at a computer and dietary supplements, including vitamin D.
Samples of their blood were also analysed for levels of 25-hydroxy-vitaminD (25(OH)D), which is a metabolised form of the vitamin and a marker for vitamin D levels.
The lowest prevalence of chronic widespread pain (8.2%) was reported in women with 75 to 99 nanomoles of 25(OH)D per litre of blood.
The rate was 14.4% for women with less than 25nmol/l, and 14.8% for women with 25-49nmol/l.
Some people are like Slinkies... Not really good for anything, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.