Vitamin D Supplementation for Pain

Christan M. Thomas, PharmD; Peter Campbell, PharmD


US Pharmacist. 2015;40(3):43-46. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Vitamin D, a fat-soluble vitamin found in few natural food sources, is synthesized in human skin after sun exposure. Up to 80% of patients in U.S. healthcare facilities are deficient in vitamin D, which is thought to contribute to a wide range of health issues. Vitamin D has long been utilized in combination with calcium to improve bone health and reduce the risk of fractures. Vitamin D supplementation has been linked to the prevention of high blood pressure, cancer, and other diseases. Recent research also points to a possible association between vitamin D deficiency and chronic pain.


Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. In humans, two forms are used—ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) and cholecalciferol vitamin (D3). While D2 is primarily synthesized by plants, sunlight can promote synthesis of D3 in human skin. Since few foods naturally contain vitamin D, dermal synthesis is typically the main source of vitamin D. Natural food sources include egg yolks and fish. Certain varieties of cereal, milk, and orange juice are fortified with vitamin D by the manufacturer.[1,2]