Improvement of Primary Dysmenorrhea Caused by a Single Oral Dose of Vitamin D: Results of a Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-Controlled Study | Nutrition | JAMA Internal Medicine | JAMA Network
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Research Letter
Feb 27, 2012

Improvement of Primary Dysmenorrhea Caused by a Single Oral Dose of Vitamin D: Results of a Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-Controlled Study

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Dipartimento di Medicina Interna (Drs Lasco and Catalano), Sezione di Endocrinologia, Dip Clinico Sperimentale di Medicina e Farmacologia (Dr Benvenga), and Master di Endocrinologia dell’Infanzia, dell’ Adolescenza e della Donna (Dr Benvenga), Università di Messina, Messina, Italy; and Programma Interdisciplinare di Endocrinologia Molecolare Clinica e Salute Endocrina della Donna, Policlinico A.O.U. “G. Martino” (Dr Benvenga), Messina.

Arch Intern Med. 2012;172(4):366-367. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2011.715

Primary dysmenorrhea is a common disorder characterized by painful uterine cramping, just before or during menstruation, in the absence of any pelvic pathologic conditions. It is frequently accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, asthenia, and insomnia.1,2 Primary dysmenorrhea affects almost half of menstruating women, often resulting in school and work absenteeism with major educational and economic consequences.2

An excessive uterine production of prostaglandins (PGs) is the pathogenetic trigger of dysmenorrhea. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are the currently accepted drugs for the management of this disorder.1,2

Because the vitamin D receptor is widespread and the mitochondrial cytochrome P450 enzyme 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25[OH]D)-1α-hydroxylase (1α-OHase), which catalyzes the synthesis of 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25[OH]2D) from its precursor 25(OH)D, is expressed in the human uterus and in immune system cells, and because vitamin D reduces the synthesis of PGs, a beneficial effect of vitamin D in the uterus pathophysiology is possible.3,4