Vitamin D & Eczema

Findings reported in the Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology state that vitamin D may enhance the skin’s ability to produce a peptide called cathelicidin, which protects against skin infection and may also induce cathelicidin production in normal skin.*

The study, which focused on atopic dermatitis (also known as atopic eczema) recruited 14 people with moderate to severe eczema and 14 people with normal skin. All of the participants were given 4000 IUs of vitamin D daily for 21 days. The researchers analyzed skin lesions at the start and end of the study and measured levels of cathelicidin. After Vitamin D supplementation, the skin showed statistically significant increases in cathelicidin. These results suggest that supplementation with oral vitamin D dramatically induces cathelicidin production, therefore helping to produce decrease the atopic dermatitis.

The researchers cautioned further research and studies are needed to evaluate the long-term effects of vitamin D supplementation and skin health.

*T.R. Hata, P. Kotol, M. Jackson, M. Nguyen, A. Paik, D. Udall, K. Kanada, K. Yamasaki, D. Alexandrescu, R.L. Gallo. “Administration of oral vitamin D induces cathelicidin production in atopic individuals.” Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology. October 2008, Volume 122, Issue 4, Pages 829-831.

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