We’ve spoken often about the importance of magnesium for reducing pain on this blog and in our print newsletters, but today I want to share three daily vitamins you rarely hear about for pain relief.
A diet rich in these three vitamins can ease chronic pain and prevent its recurrence in addition to their many other more commonly recognized health benefits.
Nagging pain may even result from old injuries, but sometimes the reason it just won’t go away is because you’re not giving your body what it needs nutritionally to heal.
That’s why these vitamins should definitely be at the top of your list if you can’t shake chronic pain. They’re certainly not pain pills, but you may find they give you better long-term results than your doctor’s prescription. And even if you’re not in pain now, getting enough of them may prevent pain later.
If you suffer from pain as a result of an injury to your joints or soft tissue between them, a healthy dose of vitamin C may be just what you need. This type of pain is often caused by inflammation. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can help reduce inflammation, easing your pain to get you back on your feet.
A recent study conducted at the University of Maryland recommends maintaining a diet high in vitamin C, including fresh fruits and vegetables, to fight inflammation before it can begin. Vitamin C also helps the body absorb iron and maintain a strong immune system. It can be a powerful ally against colds and flu.
If you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis there’s more good news. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases report that the consumption of foods high in vitamin C protects against inflammatory polyarthritis, a form of rheumatoid arthritis. Participants in a clinical study who consumed lower amounts of vitamin C were three times more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis than those who consumed higher amounts of vitamin C.
Excellent sources of vitamin C include parsley, bell pepper, strawberries, oranges, lemon juice, cauliflower, kale, mustard greens, and Brussels sprouts.
Your body needs vitamin D for the production and repair of bone and muscle tissue. Research shows that vitamin D is effective in reducing back pain and that it may provide protection from osteoporosis.
You may experience significant improvement in your condition when you start taking vitamin D regularly. In one recent study, in which a large percentage of the participants suffered both musculoskeletal pain and vitamin D deficiency, almost all reported a lessening or complete elimination of pain with vitamin D supplementation.
In another study, patients who required narcotic pain medication, and who also had inadequate levels of vitamin D, needed much higher doses of pain medication, almost twice as much as those who had adequate levels of vitamin D.
Your supply of vitamin D comes from your diet and your skin. Vitamin D production by the skin is dependent on exposure to sunlight. If you are active and live in a sunny region you can produce most of the vitamin D you need from your skin. Lack of exposure to adequate sunlight causes a vitamin D deficiency.
While many foods found at your local supermarket including milk, cereals, yogurt and even orange juice are fortified with vitamin D, you can also find vitamin D in other foods naturally. Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel are good sources of vitamin D. It can also be found in cheese, beef liver and egg yolks. And vegetarians take heart, alfalfa and many types mushrooms provide a significant source of vitamin D, too.
Vitamin B12 is important for proper nervous system function. If you suffer from nerve related pain a healthy supply of B12 may reduce or even eliminate your pain. Research subjects who received vitamin B12 showed a statistically significant reduction in pain and disability, and an increase in mobility.
If you suffer from degeneration of the lower spine, vitamin B-12 can be an effective anti-inflammatory pain reliever. In a 2000 study published in the “European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences” patients were able to decrease their use of anti-inflammatory medications when administered high doses of vitamin B-12.
Neuropathy disorders are also positively affected by increased vitamin B12. Neuropathy has been found to be caused by and made worse by deficiencies of vitamin B12 in your body. That’s because vitamin B12 supports the sheathing that protects your nerve cells and can effectively decrease or eliminate the symptoms of neuropathy by repairing nerve damage. In other words, more vitamin B12 means less pain.
You can find vitamin B12 in natural animal products such as fish, meat, poultry, eggs, and milk. It is generally not present in plant foods.
The Daily Vitamin Advantage Over Pain
Vitamins C, D, and B12 can ease pain and help restore your body to optimal health. While a healthy diet and other natural means of getting nutrients, like sunlight for vitamin D, are preferred, sometimes supplementation is necessary to achieve the levels your body needs.
Consider consulting with a naturopathic doctor to have your vitamin levels checked and to get specific advice on using vitamins and diet to improve your health and decrease your pain.