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Magazine

Supplement Psoriasis Treatment with Vitamin D

May 25, 2020 · 6 min read

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Vitamin D’s primary function in our body is to improve bone health and density. This is because it is essential for allowing our bodies to absorb calcium. But this isn’t Vitamin D’s only health benefit. Among other things, this vitamin plays a role in preventing and treating a number of illnesses, including psoriasis. 

How does vitamin D affect psoriasis?

Vitamin D deficiency is not a cause of psoriasis, but low vitamin D levels are often found in psoriasis patients. It is thought that vitamin D deficiency inhibits the body’s natural ability to maintain healthy skin. A lack of vitamin D can also affect the immune system, which may contribute to the abnormal immune and inflammatory responses of psoriasis patients.

Psoriasis flare-ups often become worse during cold, winter months. This is likely due to the dryness of the air and the lack of sunshine (a major source of vitamin). Psoriasis patients will also have less sun exposure if they are prone to covering up their arms and legs to hide their plaques.  

How to get more vitamin D

Our two main sources of vitamin D are the sun and the food we eat. When our skin is exposed to sunlight, the body naturally produces vitamin D. It is the only vitamin we don’t rely on food consumption for.

But we can also get vitamin D from the food we eat. Foods that are high in vitamin D include:

• Oily, fatty fish – e.g. tuna, salmon, sardines
• Egg yolks
• Mushrooms
• Foods fortified with vitamin D

If you don’t get enough vitamin D from these two sources or if you have a condition that inhibits the absorption of vitamin D in your body, then you can take supplements as well. Supplementing your vitamin D intake has been found to help control psoriasis symptoms and flare-ups in some patients. 

Topical creams containing vitamin D can also be effective for psoriasis patients. As well as soothing the skin when applied to affected areas, the vitamin D in these treatments can also slow down the growth of skin cells, which is proliferated in psoriasis patients.

It is worth testing your vitamin D levels. Increasing your vitamin D intake, either natural or through supplements, could help to alleviate your symptoms.

 

  • Giuseppe Murdaca, Alessandro Tonacci, Simone Negrini, Monica Greco,  Matteo Borro, Francesco Puppo, Sebastiano Gangemi, Emerging role of vitamin D in autoimmune diseases: An update on evidence and therapeutic implications, Autoimmunity Reviews (2019)
  • Disphanurat W, Viarasilpa W, Chakkavittumrong P, Pongcharoen P. The Clinical Effect of Oral Vitamin D2 Supplementation on Psoriasis: A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Study. Dermatol Res Pract. (2019)
  • Pitukweerakul S, Thavaraputta S, Prachuapthunyachart S, Karnchanasorn R. Hypovitaminosis D is Associated with Psoriasis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Kans J Med. (2019)