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Vitamin D for the treatment of chronic painful conditions in adults

Chronic pain is pain of moderate or severe intensity lasting three months or more. It can have a variety of causes, but most comes from musculoskeletal conditions such as arthritis, or pain in muscles. Chronic pain usually affects older people more than younger people. Chronic pain is disabling, and has a large negative impact on quality of life.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2015

Vitamin D supplementation for prevention of mortality in adults

To assess the beneficial and harmful effects of vitamin D for prevention of mortality in healthy adults and adults in a stable phase of disease.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2014

Calcium and vitamin D for treating osteoporosis caused by the use of steroids

Corticosteroids are widely used to treat inflammation. Bone loss (osteoporosis) is a serious side effect of this therapy. We reviewed a total of 5 trials which included 742 patients. We found that after two years of treatment, the bone mineral density of the lumbar spine and forearm of patients taking calcium and vitamin D therapy improved more than patients who had no treatment. There was no difference in the number of fractures or laboratory measures of bone density between the two groups. We found that calcium and vitamin D is effective at preventing and treating corticosteroid‐induced bone loss at the lumbar spine and forearm. The treatment appears to be safe.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2010

Vitamin D for the management of multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an illness in which the myelin sheaths around the nerves of the brain and spinal cord are damaged, affecting the ability of nerve cells to communicate with each other. A wide range of clinical presentations and neurological symptoms can occur with the disease, and these can progress to physical and cognitive disability often with a variable clinical course. Although very little is known about the mechanism and causes of this disease genetic, immunologic and environmental factors have all been implicated. Studies have shown a characteristic geographical pattern of disease distribution both in occurrence and progression, which appear to be correlated with sun light exposure and lack of vitamin D and are considered to be predisposing factors for MS. Vitamin D deficiency is said to affect the general well being of patients with MS and is also associated with poorer neurologic outcomes. People suffering with MS are usually given regular vitamin D preparations after assessment of their serum levels of vitamin D.This review sought to evaluate the benefits and harms of this Vitamin D administration to people of MS.The current level of evidence from this review is based on only one trial with potential high risk of bias, which does not at present allow confident decision‐making about the use of Vitamin D in MS. The review authors suggest that until further high‐level evidence is available, clinicians should continue to follow local guidelines when administering vitamin D to people with MS.However, the question of the safety and effectiveness of Vitamin D in people of MS remains unanswered.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2011

Vitamin D and related vitamin D compounds for preventing fractures resulting from osteoporosis in older people

Hip fractures and several other types of fractures are very common in post‐menopausal women and older men due to age‐related weakening of their bones (osteoporosis).

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2016

Vitamin D for improving bone density in children

Osteoporosis is a condition where bones are weak, brittle and break easily. The risk of osteoporosis and fractures (breaks) in later life depends on how much bone is built when a child and how much bone is lost when an adult. One way to prevent osteoporosis and fractures in later life is to build stronger bones when young. Vitamin D plays an important role in improving the body’s absorption of calcium from food, reducing losses of calcium from the body and getting calcium deposited into to bone to improve the quantity of bone developed. Therefore it is thought that if vitamin D levels in the body are low in childhood, less bone will be developed and that improving vitamin D levels by supplements would result in more bone being developed. Bone density is a major measure of bone strength and the amount of bone mineral present at different sites and so is used to measure the effects of interventions, like vitamin D supplementation, to improve bone health.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2010

Vitamin D compounds for people with chronic kidney disease requiring dialysis

People with reduced kidney function (chronic kidney disease; CKD) develop changes in circulating blood levels of calcium and phosphorus. The kidney gradually loses the ability to remove phosphorus from the blood and cannot activate adequate amounts of vitamin D, to maintain normal levels of calcium. The parathyroid gland senses these changes and compensates to increase calcium by elevating production and release of parathyroid hormone. These metabolic changes alter bone metabolism to release calcium and accordingly lead to bone abnormalities including altered bone production. Consequently bone deformation, bone pain, and altered risks of fracture may occur.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2009

Synthetic human growth hormone for treating X‐linked hypophosphatemia (or Vitamin D resistant rickets) in children

Standard treatment of X‐linked hypophosphatemia can heal rickets but does not always raise the level of phosphates in the blood or return growth levels to normal. It is unclear whether combining human growth hormone therapy with standard treatment improves the phosphate levels, growth rates and bone mineral density. Only one small trial with five children was included in this review. The human growth hormone treatment improved the z score for height and briefly increased the level of phosphates in the blood. However, we found no conclusive evidence that favours the use of human growth hormone treatment for this condition. There have not been enough trials of human growth hormone treatment for this condition and more research is needed.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2011

Vitamin D supplementation for preventing infections in children under five

Vitamin D is a micronutrient important for bone growth and immune function. Deficiency can lead to rickets and has been linked to various infections, including respiratory infections. Several studies have reported an association between vitamin D deficiency and infections among children, and is thought to be related to the role of vitamin D in the immune system. In this systematic review, Cochrane researchers examined the role of vitamin D supplementation in prevention of infections in children under five years of age. The researchers studied the infections of pneumonia, tuberculosis (TB), diarrhoea, and malaria in this review.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2016

Vitamin D compounds for people with chronic kidney disease not requiring dialysis

People with lower kidney function (chronic kidney disease; CKD) develop changes in circulating blood levels of calcium and phosphorus. The kidney gradually loses the ability to remove phosphorus from the blood and cannot activate adequate amounts of vitamin D to maintain normal levels of calcium. The parathyroid gland senses these changes and compensates to increase calcium by elevating production and release of parathyroid hormone (PTH). These metabolic changes alter bone metabolism to release calcium and accordingly lead to bone abnormalities including altered bone production. In turn, bony changes may result in bone deformation, bone pain, and altered risks of fracture.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2009

The use of regular vitamin D preparations for children and adults with cystic fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis with pancreatic insufficiency can mean that fat‐soluble vitamins, such as vitamin D, are poorly absorbed. This can lead to vitamin deficiencies. Lack of vitamin D (vitamin D deficiency) can cause specific problems such as bone deformity and bone fractures. It may also be associated with poorer general and respiratory health. Therefore, people with cystic fibrosis are usually given regular vitamin D preparations from a very young age. However, excess vitamin D can also cause respiratory problems and problems with high calcium levels. The review contains six studies, however we could only analyse data from three of these studies. Three studies were only published as conference abstracts.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2014

Vitamin D to prevent asthma attacks

Low blood levels of vitamin D (the 'sunshine vitamin') have been linked to an increased risk of asthma attacks in children and adults with asthma. Several clinical trials have been conducted to test whether vitamin D might prevent asthma attacks and improve control of asthma symptoms in children and adults, but results from studies with the most scientifically sound designs have not previously been evaluated as a group.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2017

Vitamin D supplementation for women during pregnancy

Vitamin D is produced by the human body from exposure to sunlight and can also be consumed from foods such as fish‐liver oils, fatty fish, mushrooms, egg yolks, and liver. Vitamin D has many functions in the body; it helps maintain bone integrity and calcium homeostasis.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2016

Vitamin D supplementation for prevention of cancer in adults 

The available evidence on vitamin D and cancer occurrence is intriguing but inconclusive. Many observational studies as well as randomised trials suggest that high vitamin D levels in the blood are related to reduced cancer occurrence. However, results of randomised trials testing the effect of vitamin D supplementation for cancer prevention are contradictory.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2014

Vitamin D supplementation for sickle cell disease

We reviewed the evidence about the effect of giving vitamin D supplements to people with sickle cell disease.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2017

Interventions for metabolic bone disease in children with chronic kidney disease

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) resulting in reduced kidney function and the need for dialysis and kidney transplant is associated with abnormalities in serum calcium and phosphorus levels leading to high levels of the parathyroid hormone (PTH) and to bone disease. This may result in bone deformities, bone pain, fractures and reduced growth rates. Commonly used treatments (vitamin D compounds and phosphate binders) aim to prevent or correct these outcomes. However, these treatments may raise levels of blood calcium, allow calcium and phosphorus deposition in blood vessels and lead to early cardiovascular disease, which is known to be a problem in adults with CKD.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2015

Vitamins for epilepsy

No evidence that folic acid, thiamine, vitamin D or vitamin E improve seizure control or prevent side effects for people with epilepsy.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2009

Dietary supplements for established atopic eczema in adults and children

Eczema is a skin condition characterised by an itchy, red rash, which affects 5% to 20% of people worldwide. There is no cure, but many treatments can help improve the skin's condition, making life easier. In those for whom these treatments do not work well or who fear their long‐term effects, there is often a belief that either something in their diet, or something missing in their diet, is making their eczema worse.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2015

Interventions for treating sexual dysfunction in men and women with chronic kidney disease

Sexual dysfunction is very common in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Men with CKD frequently suffer from reduced libido, erectile dysfunction and difficulty reaching orgasm. Approximately 50% to 80% of men with CKD have erectile dysfunction and the prevalence has been found to increase with age. For women with CKD, 55% report difficulty with sexual arousal. Dysmenorrhoea, delayed sexual development, impaired vaginal lubrication, dyspareunia and difficulties in reaching orgasm are also frequently observed. Therapies that have been used to treat sexual dysfunction include phosphodiesterase‐5 inhibitors (PDE5i), intracavernous injections, intraurethral suppositories, hormonal therapy, mechanical devices and psychotherapy. Although many clinical studies and reviews have explored the role of these interventions for sexual dysfunction in patients without CKD, the effectiveness and safety of these interventions in patients with CKD have not yet been studied thoroughly. The aim of this review was to assess the benefits and harms of existing interventions for treating sexual dysfunction in patients with CKD.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2011

Skin treatments for chronic plaque psoriasis

Chronic plaque psoriasis is the most common type of psoriasis. Although any part of the body may be affected, the most commonly affected sites are the elbows, knees, and scalp. 'Topical' treatments (i.e. treatments applied to the skin) are usually tried first. These include vitamin D products, topical corticosteroids, tar‐based preparations, dithranol, salicylic acid, and vitamin A products. As chronic plaque psoriasis is a long‐term condition, it is important to find out which treatments work best and what adverse effects they have. This review describes average benefits of different treatments, while recognising that individuals will vary in their experience of each treatment.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2016

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