Vitamin D as an additional therapy could provide some relief for chronic hives, says a new study from researchers at the University of Nebraska Medical Center as published in the journal Annals of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology.
Hives are raised, often itchy, red welts on the surface of the skin that usually occur as an allergic reaction to food, medicine, or another allergen. Chronic hives, or chronic urticaria, are defined as hives that last more than six weeks or hives that recur frequently. There is no cure and few treatment options for chronic hives. Although newer treatments are increasingly being researched to address chronic issues such as these, specifically the work with stem cells which aims to curate personalized therapies depending on gene markers. All of this is still in its nascent stages, and results can only be found after years of extensive research.
However, researchers led by Jill Poole, M.D., associate professor in the UNMC Department of Internal Medicine, recently discovered that over-the-counter vitamin D3 supplements may provide some relief for chronic hives. The two-year study involved 38 study participants.
Over the course of 12 weeks, the participants took a triple-drug combination of allergy medications (one prescription and two over-the-counter drugs) and one over-the-counter vitamin D3 supplement daily. Half the participants took 600 IUs of vitamin D3 and the other half took 4000 IUs.
After just one week, the severity of symptoms of chronic hives decreased by 33 percent for both groups. At the end of three months, the participants taking 4000 IUs of vitamin D3 experienced a further 40 percent decrease in severity. The group taking the lower dosage did not experience any additional reduction in symptoms after one week.
In other words, vitamin D3 supplements appear to provide some relief for the symptoms of chronic hives.
Comments Dr. Poole:
“We consider the results in patients a significant improvement. This higher dosing of readily available vitamin D3 shows promise without adverse effects. Vitamin D3 could be considered a safe and potentially beneficial therapy. It was not a cure, but it showed benefit when added to anti-allergy medications. Patients taking the higher dose had less severe hives – they didn’t have as many hives and had a decrease in the number of days a week they had hives.”
Additional research on the use of vitamin D3 supplements for the treatment of chronic hives must still be performed on a larger group of participants.
Beneficial role for supplemental vitamin D3 treatment in chronic urticaria: A randomized study: http://www.annallergy.org/article/S1081-1206(14)00012-X/abstract
Study shows vitamin D provides relief for those with chronic hives: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/272686.php
Vitamin D Supplements: http://www.freeimages.com/photo/1111305