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Heal—Don’t Feel—the Burn with Vitamin D

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Vitamin D has been found to potentially reduce inflammation and repair damaged skin in those suffering from sunburn. Research published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology suggests that supplementing high doses of the vitamin within an hour of sunburn can relieve some of its symptoms.

The most efficient way for the body to absorb vitamin D is through the very cause of sunburn: sun exposure, which triggers the chemical compound in the skin 7-Dehydrocholesterol to produce vitamin D-3. Experts recommend an average of 600 international units of the nutrient every day, with supplements and diet available to help reach that standard.

Study Methods

The study’s 20 participants were given a “sunburn” from a UV lamp and divided into four groups, which received a placebo or vitamin D in doses of 50,000, 100,000 and 200,000 international units. Researchers then collected skin biopsies 24 hours, 48 hours, 72 hours and one week after the burn occurred.

Results showed that participants who received the highest dose of vitamin D not only experienced a reduction in sunburn symptoms but also had skin repair genes such as anti-inflammatory enzyme arginase-1 activate. Overall, vitamin-receiving participants were left with reduced swelling compared to those on the placebo.

Kurt Lu, senior study author and assistant professor of dermatology, Case Western Reserve University, noted that these findings are preliminary and that the team does not recommend increasing vitamin D doses after sunburn at this point. Lu also warned that the doses used in the study exceed those recommended daily.

Learn more about the study at medicalnewstoday.com (source).

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