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Arch Dermatol Res. 2017 Sep;309(7):499-517. doi: 10.1007/s00403-017-1751-2. Epub 2017 Jul 3.

The relevance of serum vitamin D in psoriasis: a review.

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Department of Dermatology, The Charles Centre, St Vincent's University Hospital, Elm Park, Dublin 4, Ireland.
Department of Dermatology, The Charles Centre, St Vincent's University Hospital, Elm Park, Dublin 4, Ireland.
University College Dublin School of Medicine and Medical Sciences, Dublin 4, Ireland.


Observational research has identified low serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) in many non-skeletal diseases. Whether this is causal or due to underlying illness is unknown. Low serum 25[OH]D levels are also reported in the general population. Observational and experimental studies identify that vitamin D supplementation may be beneficial in reducing all-cause mortality in elderly women, as well as cancer mortality. Our aim was to review the literature to identify the relevance of serum 25[OH]D levels in psoriasis. Forty-five studies were included in our analysis. Most of these studies identified low serum 25[OH]D levels in psoriasis patients. Evidence of causality is lacking. Treatment with phototherapy leads to an increase in serum 25[OH]D. There is little evidence that the increase in 25[OH]D after phototherapy correlates with improved disease severity. Multiple studies report an improvement in psoriasis with vitamin D supplementation. These data are predominantly from small observational or non-randomised interventional studies. Randomised controlled trials to date have had small numbers and short follow-up periods. The optimal dose of supplementation is unknown and dosing is not standardised across different studies. The definition of vitamin D insufficiency varies across studies. Low serum 25[OH]D levels may be associated with comorbidities in psoriasis patients, including metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular risk. Evidence of causation is absent. Until further high-quality evidence is available, the relevance of low serum 25[OH]D levels in psoriasis patients is unknown, as is the benefit of supplementation on disease control. Supplementation in patients with low 25[OH]D is of benefit to those at risk of impaired bone health.


25(OH)D; 25-Hydroxyvitamin D; Psoriasis; Vitamin D

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