Research Shows That Vitamin D Supplementation Can Alleviate Symptoms of Psoriasis

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Psoriasis, a prevalent skin condition causing itchy and scaly patches, affects over eight million individuals in the United States. Recent research indicates that a consistent intake of vitamin D from foods or supplements may help alleviate psoriasis severity.

Vitamin D supplementation can alleviate psoriasis severity

Researchers from Brown University conducted a comprehensive analysis of nearly 500 psoriasis cases obtained from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Their study revealed a significant correlation between the severity of psoriasis and lower levels of vitamin D in blood tests. Put simply, individuals with lower vitamin D levels experienced more severe skin symptoms of psoriasis.

According to Rachel K. Lim, an MD candidate at Brown University, topical synthetic vitamin D creams are becoming popular treatments for psoriasis, typically requiring a doctor’s prescription. However, the study indicates that a vitamin D-rich diet or oral supplementation could also be beneficial for psoriasis patients.

Led by Associate Professor Eunyoung Cho from Brown University’s Department of Dermatology, the project examines the impact of vitamin D on skin diseases and bone health. Prof. Cho’s research emphasizes the role of environmental factors and nutrition in inflammatory skin diseases, such as psoriasis and skin cancer. Vitamin D is believed to affect the body’s immune response and cells responsible for skin repair, as well as contributing to strong bone health.

Vitamin supplementation on the rise

Professor Cho explained that considering there is growing use of vitamin supplementation in the west they wanted to learn the relationship between psoriasis severity and vitamin D levels. There is limited research on the association more so in the US or few studies have studied the relationship along a clinical nutritional lens.

In their study, researchers analyzed 491 psoriasis cases from a large NHANES participant group, spanning two time periods: 2003-2006 and 2011-2014. After adjusting for various lifestyle factors, they found a significant link between low vitamin D levels or deficiency and more severe psoriasis. Interestingly, patients with the least affected body surface area had higher average vitamin D levels, while those with the most affected area had lower average vitamin D levels.

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