In a recent study, researchers out of Poland found that vitamin D deficiency was prevalent among patients with chronic spontaneous urticaria.
Chronic spontaneous urticaria (CSU) is an autoimmune disease which leads to rashes or swelling on the skin. CSU occurs when the immune system continuously activates immunoglobulin E, an antibody, which leads to a constant release of chemicals that cause a reaction in the skin.
Vitamin D has rarely been studied in people with CSU. However, it is suggested that vitamin D plays a role in the immune system through its ability to bind to immune cells and help make them smarter and communicate properly. Additionally, vitamin D has been shown to reduce activity of C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation and of CSU activity.
Therefore, in the present study, researchers wanted to see if vitamin D might be associated in with CSU.
The researchers looked at 35 patients with active CSU who had the disease for a median of 3.5 years and compared them with healthy subjects. They measured vitamin D levels, the severity of CSU and concentration of C-reactive protein.
The researchers found that vitamin D levels were significantly lower in the CSU group compared to the control group (26 ng/ml versus 31.1 ng/ml). However, there was no significant difference in vitamin D between those with mild CSU and moderate-severe CSU.
Unsurprisingly, the researchers found that concentrations of C-reactive protein was significantly higher in those with CSU compared to the healthy controls. However, they found no relationship between vitamin D levels and C-reactive protein.
“CSU is associated with lower serum 25(OH)D concentrations and higher prevalence of its deficiency,” the researchers noted. “The results failed to show any effect of vitamin D status on the circulating [C-reactive protein] concentrations in CSU.”
The small sample size, its observational nature and the fact that they measured vitamin D levels during the summer are some limitations of the study.
The researchers call for large cohort studies looking to see if vitamin D supplementation has any effect in patients with CSU.