Results from a study published this week in Scientific Reports suggest an association between vitamin D deficiency and increased incidence of chronic headache in middle aged men. The Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study (KIHD) was conducted by researchers from the University of Eastern Finland. Finland and other locations that are distant from the equator do not experience sufficient UVB radiation from the sun to provide populations with adequate vitamin D except during the summer months. Previously conducted, but much smaller, studies have associated low vitamin D levels with increased risk for headache.
The study correlated serum vitamin D levels and incidence of headache in 2,600 men aged 42 to 62. 68% were found to have serum vitamin D levels below the accepted minimum of 50 nmol/l. 250 subjects reported chronic headache on at least a weekly basis, and these also had lower serum vitamin D levels. Chronic headache was also more frequent among subjects who were examined outside of the summer months. The authors note that their results do not comment on the potential benefits or adverse effects resulting from long-term vitamin D supplementation, although an ongoing 5-year trial at the University is designed to study this question. “In conclusion,” they write, “the results of this study in a Finnish population suggests an association between the serum 25(OH)D and risk of frequent headache. Large randomized vitamin D supplementation trials are needed to elucidate the role of vitamin D supplementation as a prophylaxis or treatment for headache.”
Read more about the findings, and link to the journal article here.
Posted on January 9, 2017