Is Inadequate Vitamin D Implicated in Fibromyalgia, Multiple Sclerosis, and Parkinson’s?

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It has been known since 1922 that Vitamin D is vital for bone health. Dr. J G Moellendorf, DC, ND, LCP notes that recent research shows its importance in many other body functions.

Vitamin D is a relatively safe and inexpensive treatment for fibromyalgia without the high cost and side effects of drug treatment.

Fibromyalgia is characterized by pervasive chronic pain and fatigue. Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin Chiropractor and Naturopath Dr. J G Moellendorf, DC, ND, LCP notes that many fibromyalgia sufferers also experience other symptoms such as stiffness when awaking, sleep disorders, inability to concentrate, anxiety, and depression. This can have major effects on one’s quality of life, social interaction, and ability to hold employment. Treatment for the various symptoms can be very expensive, for which there is no total cure.

Researchers have found that vitamin D reduces pain intensity in many chronic conditions. A research team led by Dr. Florian Wepner at Orthopaedic Hospital, Speising, Vienna, Austria found that many fibromyalgia sufferers had low vitamin D blood levels. They theorized that if vitamin D levels could be raised, patients’ pain levels might decrease. A randomized controlled trial was done with 30 women with fibromyalgia and low blood levels of vitamin D, who were randomly assigned to either a treatment or control group. The goal for the treatment group was to supplement with vitamin D to bring the blood level into the normal range for a period of at least 20 weeks. Blood levels were reevaluated at 5 and 13 weeks, with a readjustment of the dose as needed. Blood levels of vitamin D were assessed again at 25 weeks, at which time supplementation was stopped, with a final assessment 24 weeks after stopping the supplementation.

Between the 1st and 25th weeks of taking the vitamin D supplement, the treatment group showed substantial improvements in their physical functions, with no changes seen in the control group taking a placebo supplement. The treatment group reported significantly less “morning fatigue”, but no significant changes in depression or anxiety. The treatment group also reported a marked reduction in their pain level, even 24 weeks after stopping the vitamin D supplement. The study was published in the February 2014 issue of the journal Pain titled “Effects of Vitamin D on Patients with Fibromyalgia Syndrome: a Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial”. Lead researcher Dr. Wepner noted that vitamin D is a relatively safe and inexpensive treatment for fibromyalgia without the high cost and side effects of drug treatment.

The World Health Organization estimates that approximately 2.5 million people worldwide suffer from multiple sclerosis, a central nervous system disease causing difficulties with muscle control and strength, balance, feeling, vision, and thinking. Dr. Alberto Ascherio of Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts led an international research team to study the effects of vitamin D supplementation on the progression of multiple sclerosis. They followed 465 early-stage multiple sclerosis patients from Canada, Israel, and 18 European countries to analyze whether blood levels of vitamin D would affect the long-term course of the disease. Patients with adequate levels of vitamin D had 57% less new brain lesions, 57% fewer relapses, and 25% lower increases in lesion volume annually compared to those with inadequate vitamin D levels.

The study was published in the March 2014 issue of JAMA Neurology titled “Vitamin D as an Early Predictor of Multiple Sclerosis Activity and Progression”. The results indicate that vitamin D has a strong protective effect against the underlying disease process in multiple sclerosis. Dr. Ascherio states, “The findings of our study indicate that identifying and correcting vitamin D insufficiency should become part of the standard of care for newly diagnosed MS patients.”

Vitamin D is important for nerve development and health, mitochondrial function, and anti-oxidation, all important factors in Parkinson’s disease. Dr. Amie L Peterson’s research team at the Veteran’s Administration Medical Center in Portland, Oregon examined 286 Parkinson’s patients, of which 61 were determined to also have dementia. Those patients with higher blood levels of vitamin D performed better on numerous neuropsychiatric tests among those without dementia, especially for verbal fluency and verbal memory. Higher vitamin D levels were also associated with less depression. The study “Memory, Mood, and Vitamin D in Persons with Parkinson's Disease” was published in the September 2013 issue of the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease.

Health care practitioners are learning that vitamin D is vital in caring for fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, and probably many other syndromes.

Moellendorf Chiropractic Office, Ltd. uses the latest research findings to provide a comprehensive package of Chiropractic care, decompression traction therapy, active therapeutic movement training, cold laser therapy, and nutrition for the natural care of neurological conditions, neck and back pain, and other health conditions without drugs or surgery. Additional information about Chiropractic, Naturopathy, and other forms of natural health care has been provided by Moellendorf Chiropractic Office, Ltd. at

About: Dr. J G Moellendorf, DC, ND, LCP

Dr. J G Moellendorf, DC, ND, LCP attended the University of Wisconsin—Superior where he majored in Physics and Mathematics, with a minor in art photography. While attending the University of Minnesota—Minneapolis, he assisted in research on ribosomal proteins. Completing his Chiropractic studies at Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa, he graduated Cum Laude (with high honors) in 1983. He started Moellendorf Chiropractic Office, Ltd. in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin in 1983. In 1996, Dr. Moellendorf was awarded his Doctorate in Naturopathy from Trinity School of Natural Health. In 2001, he received Chiropractic’s most prestigious award, the honorary Legion of Chiropractic Philosophers degree, for his thesis “The Workings of Innate Intelligence in Obsessive/Compulsive and Addictive Behaviors.” This paper was chosen for publishing in the book Philosophic Contemplations vol. 2 in 2002. In June of 2012, Dr. Moellendorf authored his first book titled Healthcare’s Best Kept Secret. Dr. Moellendorf can be contacted by phone (920) 493-2126, fax (920) 743-1145, email jgmoellendorf(at)itol(dot)com, his website at, or send a carrier pigeon to 44.84722N and 87.36416W.

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