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Research discovers vitamin D supplementation in conjunction with standard treatment may improve chronic hives

Posted on: July 8, 2015   by  Vitamin D Council


Research has found that vitamin D supplementation in conjunction with anti-histamine and systemic corticosteroid use produces an elevated response in resolving the symptoms of chronic urticaria.

Chronic urticaria (CU), commonly known as chronic hives, is a skin reaction that results in red or white itchy welts. In order for hives to be considered chronic, they must last more than six weeks or recur over months or years. CU can decrease one’s quality of life due to the discomfort and interference with daily activities.

Antihistamines and systemic steroids are the most common forms of treatment, but they aren’t always successful. Due to the established relationship between vitamin D and various skin disorders, such as psoriasis and atopic dermatitis, researchers were interested in whether a relationship exists between vitamin D and CU.

In a recent study, researchers divided 192 patients with CU into three groups. The first group received vitamin D alone, the second group received antihistamine and systemic corticosteroid and the third group received vitamin D, antihistamine and systemic corticosteroid. The groups that supplemented with vitamin D were administered 60,000 IU weekly. All treatment regimens lasted six weeks. The researchers wanted to determine the effects of vitamin D supplementation on patients with CU.

Researchers assessed the severity of CU at baseline and again after six weeks. They found that all groups experienced significantly improved symptoms. The group that received combined treatment (vitamin D, antihistamine and systemic corticosteroid) experienced the largest improvement and the vitamin D alone group experienced the least improvement.

The researchers concluded,

“The study provides a rationale for the selection of Vit D supplementation as “add-on” therapy for the treatment of CU with patients showing a greater resolution of CU symptoms.”


Rasool R., et al. Chronic urticaria merits serum vitamin D evaluation and supplementation; a randomized case control study. World Allergy Organization Journal, 2015.

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