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Suffering From Frequent Headaches? Vitamin D Deficiency May Be Blamed

Update Date: Jan 07, 2017 08:30 AM EST

Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to an increased risk of chronic headaches among men, a new study found.

A team of researchers at the University of Eastern Finland analyzed information from about 2,600 Finnish men ages 42 to 60 years old. They gave blood samples and completed a questionnaire about the frequency of their headaches. They were originally part of a study assessing the risk factors for heart disease between 1984 and 1989.

The findings of the study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, shows that in 68 percent men, the serum vitamin D level was below 20 nanograms per millimeter (50 nanomoles per liter), which is generally considered the threshold for vitamin D deficiency.

Common Problem In Nordic Countries

This type of deficiency is a common problem in Finland and other Nordic countries, such as Sweden, Norway and Denmark since they are located farther north and have less sunlight exposure, Live Science Reports.

Moreover, men with frequent headaches, occurring at least once a week had vitamin D levels of 15.3 ng/ml (38.3 nmol/L), compared to 17.6 ng/ml (43.9 nmol/L), who reported no frequent headaches.

According to Science Daily, chronic headaches were also more frequently reported by men who were assessed outside the summer months between June and September. During summer, vitamin D levels are higher thanks to more exposure to sunlight.

Adds To A Growing Body Of Knowledge

"The role of vitamin D in headaches remains unclear, mainly due to predominantly small studies with inconsistent findings and the lack of large randomized supplementation trials that would show benefit after improvement of vitamin D status with vitamin D supplementation," the authors said in their study.

"Our study, being one of the largest studies that have investigated the issue, supports the view that vitamin D may be beneficial in headache prevention. Besides the size of the study, the strengths of our study include its population-based recruitment and the extensive examinations for potential confounding factors," they added.

The study now adds to a growing body of knowledge that shows the association of vitamin D deficiency with other diseases, including neurological conditions and headaches.

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