Vitamin D in high doses could be the answer to every pale person’s dilemma of treating sunburn, according to researchers from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.
Long-term benefits such as significant decrease in swelling, redness, and inflammation have been observed in individuals who have taken high doses of vitamin D an hour after acquiring sunburn.
The study was conducted by the school and it was the first trial to ever exhibit the anti-inflammatory benefits of Vitamin D.
Study lead author and assistant professor of dermatology at Case Western, Kurt Lu, stated that the group is currently investigating the topic. They are hoping to learn new ways that will help in the prevention of skin cancer other than the use of sunscreens.
In the United States, skin cancer is the most common type of cancer, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The study was published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, May edition. During the study, researchers used a lamp to give 20 individuals sunburn then gave them vitamin D in varying doses as placebo pill. The vitamin D pills packed amounts ranging from 12,500% to 50,000% of the daily recommended allowance for adults.
The individuals who took the highest doses received the best results. Within 48 hours, they had less skin redness and less skin irritation.
According to the researchers, vitamin D increases an anti-inflammatory enzyme in the skin resulting to the fast healing. The enzyme triggers other anti-inflammatory proteins enhancing tissue repair.
Vitamin D helps promote the skin’s protective barriers by reducing inflammation at a rapid rate, the research group hypothesized. Lu added that the group did not expect that vitamin D, at a certain dose, was also capable of activating skin repair genes aside from suppressing inflammation.
The benefits of vitamin D have been a topic of debate for years. A decade ago, studies have linked low levels of vitamin D to heart attacks and osteoporosis. However, three years ago, a review of 40 studies revealed that it is unlikely to provide benefits to healthy people.
Lu stated that he is not suggesting vitamin D supplements for everyone when it comes to addressing sunburn. More studies are still needed. The results, however, are promising and deserves further study, Lu added.