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155436 - the effect of vitamin D.pdf (439.51 kB)

The effect of vitamin D supplementation on pain: an analysis of data from the D-Health randomized controlled trial

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 16:31 authored by Rahman, A, Waterhouse, M, Baxter, C, Duarte Romero, B, McLeod, DSA, Armstrong, BK, Ebeling, PR, English, DR, Hartel, G, Kimlin, MG, O'Connell, R, van der Pols, JC, Alison VennAlison Venn, Webb, PM, Whiteman, DC, Neale, RE
Observational studies suggest that 25-hydroxy vitamin D (25(OH)D) concentration is inversely associated with pain. However, findings from intervention trials are inconsistent. We assessed the effect of vitamin D supplementation on pain using data from a large, double-blind, population-based, placebo-controlled trial (the D-Health Trial). 21,315 participants (aged 60-84 years) were randomly assigned to a monthly dose of 60,000 IU vitamin D3 or a matching placebo. Pain was measured using the 6-item Pain Impact Questionnaire (PIQ-6), administered 1, 2 and 5 years after enrollment. We used regression models (linear for continuous PIQ-6 score and log-binomial for binary categorizations of the score, namely 'some or more pain impact' and 'presence of any bodily pain') to estimate the effect of vitamin D on pain. We included 20,423 participants who completed ≥1 PIQ-6. In blood samples collected from 3943 randomly selected participants (∼800 per year) the mean (SD) 25(OH)D concentrations were 77 (SD 25) and 115 (SD 30) nmol/L in the placebo and vitamin D groups, respectively. Most (76%) participants were predicted to have 25(OH)D concentration >50 nmol/L at baseline. The mean PIQ-6 was similar in all surveys (∼50.4). The adjusted mean difference in PIQ-6 score (vitamin D cf placebo) was 0.02 (95% CI, -0.20 to 0.25). The proportion of participants with some or more pain impact and with presence of bodily pain was also similar between groups (both prevalence ratios 1.01, 95% CI 0.99 to 1.03). In conclusion, supplementation with 60,000 IU of vitamin D3 per month had negligible effect on bodily pain.


Publication title

The British Journal of Nutrition






Menzies Institute for Medical Research


C A B I Publishing

Place of publication

C/O Publishing Division, Wallingford, England, Oxon, Ox10 8De

Rights statement

© The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of The Nutrition Society. This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence (, which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution and reproduction, provided the original article is properly cited.

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Human pain management; Prevention of human diseases and conditions

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