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D Deficiency, Headaches Linked

Low Vitamin D Levels Are Associated with Frequent Headaches 
Need another reason to go outside and enjoy some sunshine? Getting your daily vitamin D may help ward off nasty headaches, finds a study published in Scientific Reports

Finnish researchers examined data from 2,601 male participants in a health study in eastern Finland. They looked at vitamin D levels in blood samples and reviewed questionnaires that determined how often participants suffered from headaches. Men with the lowest levels of vitamin D had over a twofold risk of chronic headache in comparison to the group with the highest levels. 

Exactly how vitamin D may help prevent headaches is unclear, but researchers think it might have to do with expression of protective genes or suppression of pro-inflammatory genes. Other studies have linked vitamin D deficiency with chronic tension-type headaches, possibly by causing muscle, bone and joint pain. 

The best way to meet your daily D needs is to get out in the sun—just 15 minutes can do the trick, though it all depends on the time of day, where you live, the season and your skin tone. However, take caution with sun exposure as too many rays can be risky for your skin. As for foods, canned fatty fish like salmon and sardines are among the few sources. Milk and almond milk, juice and cereal are often fortified with vitamin D.  

BONUS: Vitamin D may lift your mood. A Dutch study of over 1,200 seniors found 14% lower levels of vitamin D among those reporting more feelings of loneliness and listlessness.

Published March 2017

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