Joint Pain and a Vitamin Deficiency

Osteoarthritis Knee ( OA Knee )
Vitamin deficiency can be one possible cause of sore joints. (Image: stockdevil/iStock/Getty Images)

Joint pain can be a symptom of a vitamin deficiency either because the deficiency is actually damaging your joints or because it is damaging your nerves. Vitamins such as A, C and D help support numerous aspects of joint health, and a deficiency in these vitamins might cause or contribute to bone pain.

Vitamin D

According to the Linus Pauling Institute, vitamin D works closely with calcium to maintain a proper balance of the mineral within your body. Insufficient vitamin D impairs the absorption of calcium from your diet, leading your body to take calcium from your bones, weakening your bones and joints. A vitamin D deficiency can also weaken your muscles, which, when combined with weakened bones, can cause joint pain. You should try to get 15 micrograms of vitamin D daily by spending a short time in the sun or through a multivitamin. Consuming fortified cereals and dairy products also boosts your intake.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C, also called ascorbic acid, is a vitamin that is important in the production of collagen, a key component in tendons, ligaments and bones -- which all have an impact on your joints. A deficiency in vitamin C can cause weakening in the connective tissues that form your joints, leading to joint pain and swelling. For healthy joints, an average adult male needs an intake of 90 milligrams of vitamin C daily, while a female needs 75 milligrams. Load up of veggies and fruits, especially strawberries and red peppers, to fight vitamin C deficiency.

Vitamin A

Your body needs vitamin A for several processes, including bone growth and cell differentiation -- a process by which a cell becomes part of specialized tissue, like the connective tissue in your joints. An average male needs 3,000 international units a day, while a woman needs 2,333 daily. Sweet potatoes, carrots, spinachm pumpkin and kale all provide ample amounts of vitamin A. A deficiency in vitamin A may damage your bones and connective tissues, leading to joint pain. However, according to the National Institutes of Health's Office of Dietary Supplements, too much vitamin A can also cause joint pain, so you should limit your intake to a maximum of 10,000 IU daily.

Other Vitamins

Other vitamin deficiencies can cause damage to nerves, which can also cause joint pain. This is particularly prevalent in people with poor diets and nutrition. Vitamins E, B-1 or thiamin, B-6, B-12, and niacin are necessary for your nerves to grow and develop in a healthy way. Correcting a vitamin deficiency may help your joint pain; however, joint pain can also arise from serious health problems, so if your pain persists, see a doctor.

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