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Vitamin D Supplementation Protects Your Skin?

A study published in the October 2008 issue of the Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology found that oral supplements of vitamin D may help in preventing skin infections.

For the study, researchers recruited 14 people with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis and 14 people with normal skin. Atopic dermatitis is a skin condition which results in redness, severe itching, and scaling of the skin.

The participants took an oral supplement containing 4,000 IUs of vitamin D for 21 days. Researchers measured the participant's levels of cathelicidin at the beginning and end of the study. Cathelicidin is a peptide known for its ability to protect and heal the skin.

The participants with atopic dermatitis saw an increase in cathelicidin production from 3.53 relative copy units (RCU) to 23.91 RCU. Participants without dermatitis did not experience a significant increase in cathelicidin.

According to the results, vitamin D supplementation may significantly increase levels of cathelicidin in people with atopic dermatitis. The next step is to confirm these results and identify if the increase is adequate to reduce skin problems and infection.

Vitamin D is naturally produced in your body as sunlight is absorbed through your skin. Getting enough vitamin D can be problematic because as you grow older your skin becomes less efficient at synthesizing the vitamin.

Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to increased risk of cancer, hypertension, heart disease, and a number of autoimmune diseases.

If you're worried that you're not getting enough vitamin D try to maintain a diet rich in foods fortified with the vitamin or use a high quality supplement. Fish, milk products and many cereals either contain vitamin D naturally or are fortified with the vitamin.
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