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Oral Vitamin D Reduces Sunburn Effects

Oral vitamin D rapidly reduces the prevalence of inflammation from sunburn, according to an interventional study published recently in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

The diverse immunomodulatory effects of vitamin D are increasingly being recognised, although its ability to modulate acute inflammation has not been established in humans.

In a double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial, 20 adults were randomised to receive either placebo or a high dose of vitamin D3 one hour after experimental induced sunburn.

Compared with placebo, participants receiving the vitamin demonstrated reduced expresson of proinflammatory mediators tumour necrosis factor-α and inducible nitric oxide synthase in skin biopsy specimens 48 hours after experimental sunburn.

Participants with significantly higher vitamin D3 levels after treatment demonstrated increased skin expression of the anti-inflammatory mediator arginase-1 and a sustained reduction in skin redness. In contrast, participants with low vitamin levels had significant expression of proinflammatory genes.

The study’s authors wrote that this data may have broad implications for the immunotherapeutic properties of vitamin D in skin homeostasis. The findings implicate arginase-1 upregulation as a previously unreported mechanism by which vitamin D exerts anti-inflammatory effects in humans.

Read more about the dermatological benefits of vitamins.


Scott, J. F. et al. (October 2017.) Oral Vitamin D Rapidly Attenuates Inflammation from Sunburn: An Interventional Study. Journal of Investigative Dermatology. Volume 137, Issue 10, Pages 2078–2086. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jid.2017.04.040

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