Treatments

Published on | by redblob

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Vitamin D: Why Its So Good For Psoriasis

I get a lot of people asking me about vitamin D and psoriasis, and it’s about time to chime in.

Vitamin D3 (I use the NatureWise brand on Amazon) has been a part of my daily pill regime for years, and I really think its beneficial for many flakers – particularly if you live in the northern hemisphere or a basement/cave and don’t get much sun.

It’s seriously good for controlling P, and even better, there are clinical studies confirming it.

It Begins With a Trip to Morocco

Next to my camel, “Bob Marley”, way back in 2008.

Vitamin D is known as the sunshine vitamin, and that’s where my story begins.

In 2008, I hitchhiked from the UK to Morocco with my girlfriend to raise money for charity.

We went down from London to Paris, had a little detour there, continued to Barcelona, down the eastern coast of Spain, and took a ferry over to Melilla. And then we spent a week in Morocco, riding camels, drinking mint tea and getting sand everywhere.

That week I soaked up the most sun I’ve ever had in my life. Bare in mind I’m a pasty ass white boy. It was glorious, my skin drank it up, and I even had a tan for the first time in my life.

And the biggest benefit was – it made my psoriasis disappear for the first time ever, all because I was spending 12+ hours outside under the sun every day, soaking up that good vitamin D.

Why Is Vitamin D So Good?

It’s called a “vitamin”, but in reality is a hormone which your body makes after its pounded by sunlight, and in particular UVB rays.

Vitamin D is used by the body in lots of different ways, but for flakers, what’s most important is that it regulates our immune system, inflammation and skin cell growth.

More specifically, it decelerates the rate at which skin cells reproduce, leading to less scaliness, and reduces the activity of T-cells, resulting in less inflammation.

The Scientific Evidence

There’s quite a lot of evidence showing that vitamin D is good for psoriasis. Here are just a few I’ve dug up.

Six months of vitamin D – unbelievable results!

In this 2013 study, which took place in São Paulo, Brazil, nine people with psoriasis received 35,000 IU of vitamin D3 every day for six months. That’s a heavy dose, and needs to be done under doctor supervision. Their changes were measured using the standard “Psoriasis Area and Severity Index” (PASI) tool and guess what? Everybody saw significant improvements. The picture here shows two of the patients before and after, with the guy on the bottom going from a PASI score of 40.4 to 12.4.

Then there is this study, from Verona, Italy, which came out in 2012. It’s aim was to measure how many flakers with chronic plaque psoriasis are deficient in vitamin D. The result? 57.8%. versus 37.5% in the healthy control group. The study goes on to conclude that “vitamin D deficiency may be common in patients with psoriasis, especially in winter.”

How Much Vitamin D Do You Need?

You body naturally makes vitamin D3, but the amount is dependent on many factors: clothing, where you live, if you use sunscreen, skin colour and time of day.

So, if you live in Siberia or North Canada, roll out of bed at 4pm every day, when sun rays are at their weakest, or wear a jumper and trousers in the middle of summer, you might have a problem bud.

When it comes to the recommended daily amount, the Vitamin D Council says adults should take 5,000 IU. That’s roughly what I take, although I do ramp it up to 10,000 IU during the winter if I’m not feeling in the zone or my psoriasis is not playing nice. That’s one or two capsules of my NatureWise D3 supplement.

What Form of Vitamin D is Best?

Vitamin D is not made equal. First, there’s vitamin D2 (aka calciferol), which is made from fungus. Some sources say its just as good as D3, but its not the type naturally made by the body or the kind that was administered in the studies I’ve spoken about.

The one we want is actually vitamin D3, which the same as the vitamin D your body makes when exposed to sunlight. As crazy as it sounds, vitamin D3 is actually produced from the fat of lamb’s wool.

The Supplement I Use

The supplement I use is NatureWise Vitamin D3 which has 360 softgels that each have 5,000 IU. Since I’m mostly in a maintenance phase, it lasts me well over six months.

Two of the reasons I like it is because: the capsules are small, which helps when you’re throwing ten down your gullet every day like I do. Plus, its mixed with organic olive oil. Vitamin D is fat soluble and doing this makes it a lot easier to absorb.

I always like to read Amazon reviews to see if others have had a similar experience to me and here are just a few under NatureWise:

R. Merrifieldon: “I’ve been using this product for about a year (4 per day) to treat psoriasis. Combined with some diet changes (no sugar, processed wheat, dairy or nightshades) the results are amazing. Highly recommended!”

Justin Nugenton: “In April 2015 I purchased the product after an exhaustive search for healing the symptoms of my mild psoriasis. I came across a blog where a guy with severe symptoms had been using around 15-20,000 UI’s a day with great results and he mentioned this particular product. I had already changed my lifestyle which included no alcohol and smoking in conjunction with a form of the Paleo Diet call Auto-Immune Protocol. The results were phenomenal. Within a 24 hour period of using NatureWise Vitamin D3 (at 20,000 UI’s) the redness started to fade into a light pink and after about a week the size of the affected areas had shrank to nearly nothing. Needless to say, I was elated.”

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About the Author

I'm just an average 28 year old living with psoriasis. Over the last decade, I've tried everything, from real snake poison to rubbing banana peels over my body. I've finally found an approach that's working for me, and I'm sharing it with all the flakers out there. But Psoriasis Blob is not about one man, it's a growing community of great, red people.


10 Responses to Vitamin D: Why Its So Good For Psoriasis

  1. James says:

    Is there a recommended amount to take for someone hoping to see improvement? I’ve been taking Vit. D off and on over the last few years ever since I observed that calcipotriol ointment seemed to help massively (strangely, the patches seem to keep increasing after stopping calcipotriol so I’ve been wary about continuing). Unfortunately, haven’t seen much effect on my psoriasis so I’ve stopped using Vit. D.

    I realized you mentioned the recommended daily amount being 5,000 IU, and I had been limiting my intake to 3,000 IU at the time so perhaps that was a reason I wasn’t seeing any improvement. Would there be any side-effects of taking a huge quantity of Vit. D?

    • redblob says:

      Hi James, yeah that’s the catch with most steroid creams, they suppress the immune response but in the end the patches come back stronger.

      The psoriasis study I linked to had participants taking 35,000 IU for six months, and personally I take 5,000-10,000 IU. The vitamin D council suggests that 5,000 IU may not be enough for some people to see therapeutic benefits.

      As its a fat soluble vitamin, there are some side effects to large doses over a long time, but from what I’ve read that normally happens at >40,000 IU over several months. It seems to be very safe.

      I would talk to your doctor about this and get regular 25(OH)D blood tests to check if the blood vitamin D levels are in a good range.

  2. Beth Howering says:

    I find vitamin D definitely helps my psoriasis. I must share that I have found something that helps when I have outbreaks of the painful kind in creases. I tried colloidal silver gel and could not believe how quickly it healed the outbreak. Now going to try soap to go with it. Thank you for your blog. It helps to hear others and how they manage it.

    • redblob says:

      Thanks for the feedback Beth and glad to hear vitamin D helps! My mum used to take colloidal silver drops in the past but I was a bit weary when I read about people turning into Smurfs 🙂 Will need to research this gel – any particular product that you would recommend?

  3. Michelle says:

    My dermatologist just prescribed a Vitamin D liquid for the psoriasis on my feet. I’ve been using it for 3 days and it’s working beautifully!

    • redblob says:

      Awesome to hear Michelle 🙂 What’s the strength of the liquid IU-wise? I tried out a lil bottle of vitamin D oil recently but went back to the pills myself. Also, it is used in a lot of creams for psoriasis (like Dovobet, a betamethasone based cream with calcipotriol which is a form of vitamin D).

  4. aliwade1 says:

    I have Fibromyalgia and CFS too, and Vit D is recommended to help with those. Must check that I am taking D3 rather than D2 though. Ali x

    • redblob says:

      How much are you taking Ali? There was a study in 2008 I think saying that efficacy of vit D2/D3 is comparable in certain cases, but all the studies I’ve read that target psoriasis used D3, plus it just makes sense to me as its equivalent to what our bodies make. Hope you are having luck with treating your symptoms, CFS is a real struggle…

  5. Heather says:

    My rheumatologist always checks my vitamin D levels. She says that she prescribes it a lot.

    • redblob says:

      Yeah its crazy how many people are deficient. Think I read that in the US 30% of adults are deficient, despite so many foods being fortified with vitamin D.

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