When doctors don’t know what causes a symptom, they call it “idiopathic.” This holds true for generalized pain. In this study, 210 adults, aged 18 to 75, diagnosed with idiopathic pain in the joints or muscles, took a placebo, or 400 or 800 mg of alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) per day.
Compared to the start of the study, after two months, those taking either dose of ALA reported decreases from moderate to mild levels of pain while the placebo group had not changed. There were no differences in relief for different types of pain; all were equally reduced.
Doctors said there is ample evidence ALA reduces chronic nerve pain in diabetes, and have now shown ALA can safely reduce idiopathic pain in those with normal blood sugar levels.
Reference: Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy; 2021, Vol. 144, 112308, Published Online
Vitamin D in opioid palliative care
In the later stages of cancer, it is common for people to be deficient in vitamin D. In this study, 150 people with cancer undergoing palliative care participated in this four-year study. All were deficient in vitamin D at the start of the study.
Participants took a placebo or 4,000 IU of vitamin D per day for 12 weeks. While both groups increased their opioid doses, those in the vitamin D group increased doses an average of 0.56 mcg less per hour, per week. The vitamin D group also reported less fatigue. The effects, though small, significantly reduced opioid-sensitive pain and fatigue in those undergoing palliative care.
Reference: Journal-Cancers; 2021, Vol. 13, No. 15, 13153707