Saturday, October 30, 2010

Vit D for Eczema and Asthma

The following is from an email by Dr. John Cannell regarding Eczema, Allergies, Asthma and Vit D. He is speaking to a parent with a young infant. Both have allergy and skin conditions. While I know that the Sea Vegetables and Aloe and our liquid Calcium are wonderful for these problems, I do believe that extra Vit D is essential especially in the northern climates. The following is an excellent explanation of why this is so along with references to medical studies. At the end of the article, Dr. Cannell states that the eczema and asthma will slowly improve over several years. I have seen both improve in a period of months using Body Balance.

Be well ~ 
[click below to read the full article]

Eczema is a form of atopy, a disease characterized by a tendency to be “hyperallergic”. A patient with atopic allergies often has atopic eczema or atopic dermatitis since infancy and asthma as they grow older. Atopic eczema is an extremely itchy skin condition with a hallmark rash that can involve almost every region of the body. Crusty, scaly, flattened, reddened lesions of atopic eczema can appear almost everywhere, but are worse in certain areas or after exposure to certain irritants (e.g., allergenic soap, freshly cut lawns).
The single most important feature associated with atopic eczema lesions is that they are extremely itchy, and the itch can occur even before the lesions erupt on the skin and are visible. The itchiness often leads to secondary infections.
Atopy and asthma has a complicated relationship to vitamin D with some studies showing vitamin D, especially cod liver oil in infancy, making eczema worse in later life. However, one would be silly to stay vitamin D deficient, and all that entails, on the chance your eczema will not worsen. Furthermore, in my experience atopy, including asthma, will slowly improve with physiological doses of vitamin D. Like asthma, eczema can become life-threatening if infection occurs. Such infections are thought to be secondary to reductions in the skin of naturally occurring antibiotics, such as cathelicidin.
Recently, Dr. Tissa Hata and a group at UC San Diego conducted a randomized controlled trial that demonstrated a remarkable seven fold increase in skin cathelicidin after adult eczema subjects were given 4,000 IU per day for 21 days. 
Even more important, Dr. Urashima and colleagues at the Jikei University School of Medicine in Japan conducted a randomized placebo controlled trial of young teenagers and found that those with asthma were much less likely to have an attack if they were on vitamin D. Asthma attacks are not an uncommon cause of death among children. They also found that vitamin D significantly reduced the risk of influenza A, which can be much more severe in asthmatics.
Geoffrey, both you and your baby need to stop all vitamin A supplements, as they will interfere with the vitamin D, and begin taking vitamin D; your infant needs 1,000 IU/day and you need 5,000 IU per day. I wish I could tell you the eczema will rapidly disappear; it will not. However, over a period of several years I predict both the eczema and asthma will slowly improve. More importantly, both you and your infant will have a decreased likelihood of getting a secondary infection in both your skin and your lungs.
John Cannell, MD
1241 Johnson Ave., #134
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

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