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Not Enough Vitamin D Research for Ichthyosis Patients with Healthy Diet

In response to a recent research article published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, pertaining to ichthyosis and vitamin D deficiency, FIRST consulted with our Medical & Scientific Advisory Board (MSAB), to find out more about the possible connection.

As noted by MSAB member, Dr. John DiGiovanna, “It is important to note that the children in this article (from India) had vitamin D so severe they had rickets, a skeletal manifestation of vitamin D deficiency. It is likely they were broadly nutritionally deficient. We no longer see that in the US.  Vitamin D testing is widely available, and supplementation to normal levels is widely encouraged by dermatologists-since we also highly recommend sun protection. Vitamin D can be generated from sun exposure, diet or nutritional supplementation. Although this is likely not relevant for most ichthyosis patients, however, vitamin D supplementation is very reasonable. Of note, there has not been extensive research on vitamin D supplementation for ichthyosis patients who have a healthy diet and are not suffering from vitamin D deficiency.”

Dr. DiGiovanna, also added, “The optimal levels of vitamin D are not universally accepted. The old RDA-recommended daily allowance was based on preventing rickets. So if you took that amount, you avoided deficiency and the bone problem. Recently some have advocated that larger amounts of vitamin D may help prevent other more subtle problems. So higher levels have been advocated. Since sun exposure is one way to get vitamin D, and since skin cancer is directly linked to sun exposure, there is increasing interest in oral supplementation to prevent adverse outcomes such as osteopenia, etc. Serum levels to measure vitamin D are widely available, and vitamin D oral supplements are in most multivitamins and available as vitamin D alone. A normal level of serum vitamin D is recommended for general health.”

Before taking any new vitamin supplementation FIRST highly recommends you consult your healthcare practitioner.