Vitamin D linked to psoriasis and pneumonia

Consumer Reports News: May 11, 2011 02:58 PM

You might associate vitamin D mainly with strengthening your bones, but it could also play a role in both psoriasis and pneumonia, suggests two studies published this week.

One report, out today in the journal Science Translational Medicine, shows that vitamin D helps counteract the body’s response to inflammation associated with the red, scaly patches of psoriasis. The finding—based on analysis of genetic material in skin biopsies from psoriasis patients and healthy volunteers—could lead to new therapies, report the team of researchers from the U.S. and Germany.

The other study, released on Tuesday in the journal Respirology, found that adult pneumonia patients hospitalized in winter with were more likely to die within 30 days if they were severely deficient in vitamin D. The finding held even after adjusting for other factors, including patient age, gender, and other illnesses.

Bottom line. While intriguing, the strongest evidence for vitamin D remains bone health. For details, see our recent report “The vitamin D dilemma. How much is too much?”

Cytosolic DNA Triggers Inflammasome Activation in Keratinocytes in Psoriatic Lesions [Science Translational Medicine]

Vitamin D, innate immunity and outcomes in community acquired pneumonia

Doug Podolsky

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