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Low Vitamin D Levels Associated with Headaches

by Dr. Randy


Swedish study

Headaches occur more frequently in people who live at higher latitudes. The theory has been proposed that lower levels of vitamin D from reduced sun exposure at these locations may be the cause. A study was undertaken in Sweden to investigate the relationship between vitamin D blood levels and frequency of headaches.

Almost 13,000 study participants completed a questionnaire regarding the frequency, duration, and intensity of headaches. Their vitamin D blood levels were also tested. Results showed that those participants with low vitamin D levels reported significantly more non-migraine headaches. This association proved true when the possible confounding factors of physical exercise and alcohol consumption were considered Migraine headaches did not show any association with vitamin D status.

Treatment of headaches

Certainly on the basis of this study anyone who has headaches should ensure that their vitamin D status is adequate (a blood level of 50-100 ng/ml). This usually requires a supplement of 5,000 IU of vitamin D3 per day for adults and 2,000 IU per day for children.

Other excellent programs that prevent and treat recurrent headaches include acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, and neurotransmitter evaluation and support with targeted nutritional supplements. Adequate sleep and stress reduction techniques are also important components of a holistic approach to managing headaches.


Kjærgaard , M, Eggen AE, Mathiesen EB, Jorde R. Association Between Headache and Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D; the Tromsø Study: Tromsø 6. Headache 2012; 52:1499.