High-dose vitamin D counteracts sunburn damage

A double-blinded, placebo-controlled interventional trial reveals high-dose vitamin D3 as a potent modulator of experimental sunburn induced by simulated solar radiation.

Vitamin D capsules

Vitamin D is known to have long-term effects on immune response and inflammatory disease but its acute effects on inflammation in the body are less established.

In a study in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology
(online, 30 May 2017), researchers randomly assigned 20 adults to receive either a high dose of vitamin D3 or placebo an hour after exposure to a UV lamp as a model of sunburn.

At 48 hours after exposure, the team found that people in the vitamin D3 group had less skin redness and structural damage compared with the placebo group, and biopsies showed significantly reduced expression of pro-inflammatory mediators. Vitamin D3 -treated participants also had significantly increased expression of the anti-inflammatory mediator arginase-1.

The researchers say that the results shed light on the anti-inflammatory effects of vitamin D3 and if replicated in larger studies, could lead to routine clinical use against sunburn.


[1] Scott J, Das L, Ahsanuddin S et al. Oral vitamin D rapidly attenuates inflammation from sunburn: an interventional study. J Invest Dermatol 2017. doi: 10.1016/j.jid.2017.04.040

Last updated
Clinical Pharmacist, CP, August 2017, Vol 9, No 8;9(8):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2017.20203235

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