Vitamin D is widely known to be involved in bone metabolism and acquired largely from exposure to sunlight and, to a lesser extent, to dietary intake. However, the many varied ways this vitamin is used by the body continue to be discovered.
It is known that vitamin D also has implications for the immune system, cardiovascular health and the development of cancer. However, there has been minimal research targeting its ability to affect acute inflammation in target tissues.
Researchers verified that a single dose of Vitamin D would produce a significant decrease in the inflammatory response to a skin injury in mice. They then turned their attention to humans. A “pilot, proof-of-principle interventional study in humans, modeled after a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial” was developed.
The question was would a single high dose of oral Vitamin D3 have positive effects on sunburn from simulated solar radiation?
For the study, twenty healthy adults were exposed to ultraviolet radiation to produce sunburn including inflammation and redness of the skin. An hour later, they were either given placebo or a high dose of vitamin D3.
Outcomes showed that “participants responding to high doses of vitamin D3 demonstrated a sustained reduction in skin redness following experimental sunburn, as well as less epidermal structural damage, reduced expression of pro-inflammatory markers in the skin, and a gene expression profile characterized by up regulation of skin barrier repair genes… In contrast, participants with lower serum vitamin D3 levels had significant expression of pro-inflammatory genes.”
They also noted that the individual subject’s response to oral D3 was affected by “the dose of vitamin D3, age, BMI, baseline vitamin D3 stores, and genetic polymorphisms.”
In combination with previous research, this study shows the significant impact oral Vitamin D can have on inflammation and healing. The dosages given in the study are well above the recommended daily recommendations. Therefore additional research will be needed to determine if this is safe for all populations.
Researchers also plan to study how Vitamin D might be used to help burn patients heal more quickly.
For more information on better health and wellness through proper nutrition and lifestyle choices, ask your doctor of chiropractic.
SOURCE: Oral vitamin D rapidly attenuates inflammation from sunburn: an interventional study. The Journal of Investigative Dermatology. April 7, 2017. http://www.jidonline.org/article/S0022-202X(17)31558-0/fulltext