A study suggests that vitamin D bolsters the production of a protective chemical normally found in the skin. This could help prevent skin infections that are a common result of atopic dermatitis, the most common form of eczema. Atopic dermatitis is characterized by areas of severe itching, redness and scaling.
The study found that supplemental vitamin D appeared to correct a defect in the immune systems in patients with this skin disease. The researchers studied a small number of patients with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis.
It has previously been shown that defects in the immune system interfere with the skin's ability to produce a peptide called cathelicidin, which is protective against microbial invasion. Study participants were all given 4000 IUs of oral Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) per day for 21 days. The researchers found that oral vitamin D use by the patients appeared to correct the skin's defect in cathelicidin.
* Eurekalert October 6, 2008