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Vitamin D improves primary dysmenorrhea.

Forty Italian women (aged 18-40 years) with primary dysmenorrhea and a serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level < 45 ng/ml were randomly assigned to receive a single oral dose of 300,000 IU of vitamin D3 or placebo 5 days before the expected onset of menstruation. The women were followed for 2 menstrual cycles. During that time, there was a significant decrease in menstrual pain in the vitamin D group compared with the placebo group (p < 0.001). The proportion of women who used nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for menstrual pain was significantly lower in the vitamin D group than in the placebo group (0% vs. 40%; p = 0.003).

Comment: Primary dysmenorrhea is triggered by excessive production of prostaglandins in the uterus. Vitamin D reduces the synthesis of prostaglandins. The results of the present study suggest that vitamin D may be useful for relieving menstrual pain. Further research is needed to confirm these findings and to determine the optimal dosage regimen.

Lasco A et al. Improvement of primary dysmenorrhea caused by a single oral dose of vitamin D: results of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Arch Intern Med. 2012;172:366-367.

by Alan R. Gaby, MD drgaby@earthlink.net

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Title Annotation:Literature Review & Commentary
Author:Gaby, Alan R.
Publication:Townsend Letter
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:4EUIT
Date:Oct 1, 2012
Words:197
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