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Vitamin D as a treatment option for psoriasis: Researchers continue to explore the options

Posted on: March 21, 2018   by  Vitamin D Council


Vitamin D may impact many aspects of human health, from proper functioning of the brain, down to the individual cells which make up the skin. A recent study found that vitamin D supplementation may decrease the severity of psoriasis, a chronic skin condition characterized by reddened, scaly skin.

The primary author of this study, Dr. Michelle Ingram, noted,

“This study was partly motivated by observations that some people with psoriasis report a reduction in symptoms during the summer months, when vitamin D production in the skin is usually at its highest. Vitamin D incorporated into a cream or ointment is also a relatively effective treatment for psoriasis, yet no one had looked into whether vitamin D supplementation might be of similar benefit.”

The study results were deemed inconclusive. The placebo group included in the study had an unexpected rise in vitamin D levels that was attributed to sun exposure. Despite lack of significant findings, the researchers noted an obvious trend of improvement in psoriasis symptoms as vitamin D levels increased.

This health condition is considered to be mysterious to researchers, doctors and patients alike. The cause and treatment are still to be determined, though it now seems as if vitamin D could be a potential therapeutic option. Future clinical trials are needed to confirm this theory.


Michelle A. Ingram et al. Oral vitamin D3 supplementation for chronic plaque psoriasis: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, Journal of Dermatological Treatment, 2018

1 Response to Vitamin D as a treatment option for psoriasis: Researchers continue to explore the options

  1. Batch

    Although this study of vitamin D3 as an intervention for psoriasis was a step in the right direction… there are several problems with the protocol that prevented meaningful results and that doomed it to conclude the null hypothesis.

    For starters, a single dose of 200,000 IU vitamin D3 at baseline (an average daily dose of 550 IU/day vitamin D3) or 100,000 IU/month (an average dose of 3300 IU/day vitamin D3) do not approximate the continuous supply of cutaneous vitamin D3 (an average of 7000 to 10,000 IU/day vitamin D3) and resulting increase in 25(OH)D made possible with near whole body exposure to the UV B in direct sunlight throughout the summer months.

    Had the study protocol been patterned after the following Guidelines for optimizing design and analysis of clinical studies of nutrient effects developed by Dr. Robert P. Heaney, MD, and the vitamin D3 doses been daily at physiological levels ~ 10,000 IU/day, I’m very confident the results would have been conclusive that vitamin D3 is an effective intervention for psoriasis,

    1. Basal nutrient status must be measured, used as an inclusion criterion for entry into study, and recorded in the report of the trial. (Yes/No)
    2. The intervention (i.e., change in nutrient exposure or intake) must be large enough to change nutrient status and must be quantified by suitable analyses. (Yes/No).
    3. The change in nutrient status produced in those enrolled in the trials must be measured and recorded in the report of the trial. (Yes/No)
    4. The hypothesis to be tested must be that a change in nutrient status (not just a change in diet) produces the sought-for effect. (Yes/No)
    5. Conutrient status must be optimized in order to ensure that the test nutrient is the only nutrition-related, limiting factor in the response. (Yes/No)

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