Oral vitamin D supplements may help check skin infections

October 7th, 2008 - 12:45 pm ICT by IANS  

New York, Oct 7 (IANS) Use of oral Vitamin D supplements may help prevent some skin infections, a new study in the US suggests.Vitamin D deficiency has already been linked to several diseases including increased rates of multiple cancers and diabetes.

In the new study scientists examined a small number of patients with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis, a chronic skin disease that affects 10 to 20 percent of children and one to three percent of adults.

Atopic dermatitis is characterised by areas of severe itching, redness and scaling. Over time, chronic changes can occur due to constant scratching and rubbing.

The condition puts patients at increased risk for skin infections by the herpes and small pox viruses.

The study led by researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine found that supplementation with oral vitamin D dramatically bolsters production of a protective chemical in the skin of patients that they say may protect from infection.

The researchers led by Richard Gallo however caution that this was a small study and require further research, reported science portal EurekAlert.

“Further research is needed to evaluate the long-term effects of vitamin D supplementation, and to determine if this may be an adequate way to prevent infections in patients with atopic dermatitis”, the researchers said.

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