News article

Vitamin D may provide respite from winter-related atopic dermatitis symptoms: A study

Posted:  Monday, October 13, 2014

Vitamin D has emerged as a star nutrient in the past decade with multiple benefits attributed to it. A recent study has added another advantage to this ever growing list. The study found that daily supplementation with vitamin D significantly reduced symptoms of winter-related atopic dermatitis in children.

Atopic dermatitis is a chronic inflammatory skin condition mostly seen in children and aggravation of the symptoms is usually observed in wintertime. Patients with atopic dermatitis are highly vulnerable to bacterial infections.

For the study, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 107 children aged 2-17 years were enrolled from 9 outpatient clinics in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia for a period of 1 month. All the participants had a history of winter-related worsening of atopic dermatitis symptoms. The researchers randomly assigned the children to 2 groups, one group received 1000 IU of vitamin D daily and the other received a placebo, both in the form of colourless, odourless and tasteless drops. The parents and the investigators did not know of the group allotment.

The hypothesis that vitamin D supplementation may help relieve symptoms of atopic dermatitis was based on the observation that UV light treatment of severe atopic dermatitis is very common. Additionally, results from a previous study had hinted at the possibility that vitamin D deficiency may contribute to the seasonal worsening of symptoms.

The researchers conducted standard evaluations of atopic dermatitis symptoms at the start and at the end of the month-long study period. Parents were also asked to report any discernible improvement in their child’s condition.

The researchers found that children who received vitamin D supplementation reported an average 29% improvement of symptoms on a primary assessment tool as compared to 16% in the placebo group. Additional assessments including parental reporting also revealed that vitamin D supplementation was beneficial.

While the researchers were unsure if the study group had low levels of vitamin D to begin with, they do mention other studies that found a significant number of children suffering from vitamin D deficiency in the region where the study was conducted.

Talking about the study, the researchers said, “In this large group of patients, who probably had low levels of vitamin D, taking daily vitamin D supplements - which are inexpensive, safe and widely available - proved to be quite helpful."

Although vitamin D displayed a positive effect in the present study, future research is required to assess the efficacy of vitamin D treatment in adults and children with year-long symptoms. As a preliminary step, the researchers suggest trying vitamin D supplementation for a few weeks during wintertime flares of atopic dermatitis in children to observe any positive effect.

For study details:-Click Here!