Vitamin D May Ease Sunburns by Reducing Skin Damage

Image result for Vitamin D May Ease Sunburns by Reducing Skin DamageA high dosage of vitamin D after your next sunburn could mean the difference between weeks of agony and a quick recovery.

After exposing 20 participants to a small UV lamp sunburn on the inside of their arms, researchers from Case Western Reserve University in Ohio analyzed how vitamin D helped reduce inflammation. Kurt Lu, senior author and professor of Dermatology at the university and University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, said the results depended on the dose each participant was given.

Credit: Phil Kates/Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

“We found benefits from vitamin D were dose-dependent,” Lu said in a press release. “We hypothesize that vitamin D helps promote protective barriers in the skin by rapidly reducing inflammation. What we did not expect was that at a certain dose, vitamin D not only was capable of suppressing inflammation, it was also activating skin repair genes.”

The participants were given either a placebo pill or 50,000, 100,000 or 200,000 IU of vitamin D an hour after exposure to the UV lamp. Researchers checked in with the participants up to a week after the experiment and collected skin biopsies for further testing.

Related: Vitamin D Deficiency May Cause Early Menopause

“The diverse immunomodulatory effects of vitamin D are increasingly being recognized. However, the ability of oral vitamin D to modulate acute inflammation has not been recognized,” the researchers said.

Those who received the largest dose of vitamin D experienced reduced skin inflammation, less epidermal structural damage and reduced expression of pro-inflammatory markers within the skin two days after being exposed to the UV lamp. Participants who had the highest blood levels of vitamin D experienced reduced skin redness and increased gene activity associated with skin cell repair.

“The data may have broad implications for immunotherapeutic properties of vitamin D in skin homeostasis and implicate … regulation as a previously unreported mechanism by which vitamin D exerts anti-inflammatory effects in humans,” the researchers said.

Related: Scientists Create Topical Drug That Tans Skin

The participants were separated into two clusters based on similarities in their gene expression profiles and differed significantly in their vitamin D levels after treatment. Every individual’s response to vitamin D depended on his/her age, BMI, baseline vitamin D stores and genetic variations.

The researchers suggested that vitamin D has other additional benefits, such as reducing DNA damage. Since vitamin D is relatively cost-effective, the treatment could be used in the near future as an easy fix to sun-related skin damage.

“The simplicity and safety of high dose oral vitamin D treatment, combined with its rapid and sustained therapeutic efficacy, suggest that these proof-of-concept findings may ultimately be translated to routine clinical use once larger studies are performed on diverse populations of subjects,” the researchers said.


Vitamin A deficiency in pregnant women ups risk of Alzheimer’s for child

Vitamin A deficiency in pregnant women ups risk of Alzheimer's for child (Getty Images)Vitamin A deficiency in pregnant women ups risk of Alzheimer’s for child (Getty Images)
For would-be-mommies, inclusion of sweet potatoes, carrots, and dark leafy greens in their diet are a must, as a study warns that deficiency of vitamin A in the womb or just after birth can have a detrimental effect on the brain development of the fetus or the newborn and may lead to Alzheimer’s disease later in life.

The findings, published today in Acta Neuropathologica, indicate that early developmental stages are crucial periods during which brain tissue is “programmed” for the rest of a person’s life.

According to researchers from the University of British Columbia genetically-engineered mice, also demonstrate that supplements given to newborns with low levels of vitamin A could be effective in slowing the degenerative brain disease.

“Our study clearly shows that marginal deficiency of vitamin A, even as early as in pregnancy, has a detrimental effect on brain development and has long-lasting effect that may facilitate Alzheimer’s disease in later life,” said Dr. Weihong Song.

For this research, Song built on previous studies that have linked low levels of vitamin A with cognitive impairments.

The researchers examined the effects of vitamin A deprivation in the womb and infancy on Alzheimer’s model mice.

They found that even a mild vitamin A deficiency increased the production of amyloid beta, the protein that forms plaques that smother and ultimately kill neurons in Alzheimer’s disease.

Mice who were deprived in utero but then given supplements immediately after birth performed better on the tests than mice who weren’t given such supplements.

“In some cases, providing supplements to the newborn Alzheimer’s disease model mice could reduce the amyloid beta level and improve learning and memory deficits,” said Song.

The study also included new evidence in humans of the vitamin A-dementia connection in later years.

Pregnant women in particular should not take excessive vitamin A supplements. A balanced diet is the best way to ensure adequate levels of the nutrient.


Vitamin D-Deficient Kids Likely To Develop Asthma, Allergies

Vitamin D-Deficient Kids Likely To Develop Asthma, Allergies

Vitamin D-Deficient Kids Likely To Develop Asthma, Allergies
Repeated bouts of vitamin D deficiency in early childhood were linked to higher rates of asthma
SYDNEY: Australian researchers have found that children with vitamin D deficiency were more likely to develop asthma and other allergies later in life.

Researchers from Western Australia’s Telethon Kids Institute tracked vitamin D levels from birth to age 10 in Perth and found that children were at high risk of developing asthma and allergies as they grew older if they lacked the nutrient at a young age, Xinhua news agency reported.

The findings also showed that repeated bouts of vitamin D deficiency in early childhood were linked to higher rates of asthma at age 10, as well as allergy and eczema.

The study’s lead author Elysia Hollams on Tuesday said the findings showed that vitamin D plays an important role in regulating the immune system as well as promoting a healthy lung development.

“Our study is the first to track vitamin D levels from birth to asthma onset, and it has shown a clear link between prolonged vitamin D deficiency in early childhood and the development of asthma,” Hollams said.
“We’ve also shown for the first time that babies deficient in vitamin D have higher levels of potentially harmful bacteria in their upper airways, and are more susceptible to severe respiratory infections.”

But Hollams was quick to caution against rushing out and purchasing vitamin D supplements as more research needs to be done in the field.

“We still don’t know what the optimal level of vitamin D is for good lung health and immune function, and we don’t know if supplementation would address this issue, or if healthy sun exposure is what is required, given that vitamin D is an indirect measure of recent sun exposure,” Hollams said.

The study’s co-author professor Prue Hart said the findings were a significant endorsement that vitamin D levels may be important throughout childhood.

Hollams and Hart’s study was published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology on Tuesda


Mother’s High Vitamin B Levels May Cut Eczema Risk In Babies

Mother's High Vitamin B Levels May Cut Eczema Risk In BabiesInfants whose mothers had a higher level of a particular type of vitamin B during pregnancy may be at a lower risk of developing eczema — inflammation of the skin — researchers have found.

The study, from the University of Southampton in Britain, is the first to link maternal serum levels of nicotinamide — a naturally occurring form of vitamin B3 — and related metabolites to the risk of atopic eczema — the most common form of eczema — in the child.

The results showed that offspring of mothers with higher levels of nicotinamide had a 30 per cent lower chance of developing atopic eczema at 12 months.

There was an even stronger association with higher levels of anthranilic acid, a tryptophan metabolite.

Nicotinamide and related nutrients are important for the body’s immune responses and energy metabolism, the study said.

Levels of nicotinamide are maintained through intake of foods such as fish, meat, chicken, mushrooms, nuts and coffee as well as tryptophan, an amino acid found in most proteins.

Nicotinamide can improve the overall structure, moisture and elasticity of skin and therefore could potentially alter the disease processes associated with eczema, the researchers noted.

Further, the study showed a gradual association between higher maternal nicotinamide and anthranilic acid levels and a lower risk of atopic eczema, suggesting that the development of eczema is not simply prevented by the presence of these nutrients.

“Nicotinamide cream has been used in the treatment of eczema but the link between the mother’s levels of nicotinamide during pregnancy and the offspring’s risk of atopic eczema has not been previously studied. The findings point to potentially modifiable influences on this common and distressing condition,” said lead researcher Sarah El-Heis from the University of Southampton.

For the study, published in Clinical and Experimental Allergy, the team assessed the amount of nicotinamide and related tryptophan metabolites during pregnancy in 497 women who took part in the Southampton Women’s Survey.

The team studied the rates of eczema in their children at ages 6 and 12 months.

The study supports the concept that eczema partly originates as a baby develops in the womb and could reveal ways of reducing the risk of the skin condition, the researchers said.

“More research is needed to investigate this interesting association, but the findings are further evidence of the potential benefits of eating a healthy balanced diet during pregnancy,” added Keith Godfrey, professor at the University of Southampton.


Vitamin C intake may help reduce the chance of cataracts

t foods rich in vitamin C, if you want to keep cataracts at bay. A study published in Ophthalmologysuggests that diet and lifestyle, rather than genetics, may have the most significant impact on cataract development, and vitamin C could cut the risk of the disorder by one third.
Cataracts involve a clouding of the lens.

Cataracts develop with age. Results of a survey of 19 US states, carried out in 2006-2008 and published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suggest that cataracts affect around 29.2% of Americans.

A cataract clouds the lens of the eye, causing it to become opaque and reducing vision.

Cataracts are the number one cause of blindness worldwide, despite the fact that cataract removal surgery is now a routine procedure.

Researchers from King’s College London, in the UK, have been investigating the role of nutrients in preventing the development of cataracts, as well as the relative impact of environmental factors – such as diet – compared with genetic influence.

They collected data from 1,000 pairs of female twins in the UK. Participants completed a questionnaire that tracked their intake of vitamins A, B, C, D and E, of copper, manganese and zinc and other nutrients.

Environmental impact on cataract progression stronger than genetic

Digital imaging enabled the researchers to assess the progression of cataracts by measuring the opacity of participants’ lenses when the participants were around 60 years old.

Fast facts about cataracts

  • In the US, 26.4% of men and 31.1% of women had cataracts when asked in a 2006-2008 study
  • 22.7% of men and 30.8% of women had had cataracts removed
  • At the age of 85 years, 54% of people had cataracts.

Learn more about cataracts

Repeat measurements were carried out on 324 pairs of the twins about 10 years later.

The first measurement linked a high vitamin C intake with around 20% lower risk of cataracts. The 10-year assessment revealed a 33% lower risk of cataract progression in women whose diet was rich in foods containing vitamin C.

Genetic factors were responsible for 35% of the difference in cataract progression, while environmental factors, such as diet, accounted for 65%, suggesting that genetic impact on cataract development may be less significant than previously believed.

The strength of vitamin C in inhibiting cataracts progression may lie in itsantioxidant properties. The fluid inside the eye is normally high in vitamin C, which helps prevents oxidation that clouds the lens.

The researchers speculate that eating food rich in vitamin C may boost the levels of vitamin C in the fluid around the lens, offering extra protection.

The study only focused on consumption of vitamin C through foods and not through dietary supplements.

Study author Dr. Christopher Hammond, professor of ophthalmology at King’s College London, says:

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