Vitamin D helps to treat vitiligo
Vitiligo is a skin disease that causes loss of pigmentation in patches. It is an autoimmune disease that many people think is untreatable. New research shows that vitamin D benefits the immune system in such a way that can cause renewal of skin pigmentation.
The study was published in the journal Dermato Endocrinology. It was a small study where 16 patients with vitiligo were given vitamin D3 at a dose of 35,000 IU once daily for six months. All of the patients had low blood vitamin D levels at the beginning of the study. By the end, 14 out of 16 patients with vitiligo experienced 25 to 75% re-pigmentation of their skin. This is quite a remarkable result in a short space of time.
In vitiligo the immune system attacks the melanin-producing cells in the skin. This means not enough melanin can be made, and consequently white patches form on the skin. A high number of patients with autoimmune disease are shown to be low in vitamin D when tested. Even worse, many of them have what is known as vitamin D resistance. This is a genetic condition relating to vitamin D metabolism in the body. It means these people need a much higher intake of vitamin D in order to experience its benefits.
Vitamin D has a long list of benefits to the immune system. It actually regulates approximately 1000 genes in the body; many of which are involved in immune function. It helps to reduce excessive inflammation in the body and can reduce auto antibody production. Please keep in mind that the dose of vitamin D used in this study was extraordinarily high, and not recommended without medical supervision.
Everyone should have their vitamin D checked. It is a simple blood test that your doctor can organize for you. Correcting vitamin D insufficiency is one vital component of the treatment of all autoimmune disease. If you are found to be deficient a vitamin D supplement is recommended. It is also important to correct other nutrient deficiencies and improve gut and liver health. Read more in our book Healing Autoimmune Disease.