Vitamin D Provides Relief from Chronic Hives

Omaha, NE—A two-year study out of the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) shows a prominent decrease in the symptoms of chronic hives as a result of vitamin D3 supplementation.

Chronic hives, an allergic skin condition marked by itchy red welts on the skin and swelling, has no known cause or cure, though there are some treatment options. Researchers of the study wanted to test the efficacy of vitamin D supplements in reducing symptoms when combined with other allergy medications.

For 12 weeks, 38 participants who suffered with chronic hives for five to 20 years were given a combination of triple-dose of allergy medication and either 600 IUs or 4,000 IUs of vitamin D3.  After just one week, the severity of the participants’ symptoms was down 33%. The group taking 4,000 IUs of vitamin D3 saw a further 40% decrease in severity of their hives after three months, though the 600 IUs group experienced no additional benefit.

Jill Poole, M.D., associate professor at the UNMC Department of Internal Medicine and principal investigator of the study says the results show significant improvement from over-the-counter vitamin D3 supplementation. “This higher dosing of readily available vitamin D3 shows promise without adverse effects. Vitamin D3 could be considered a safe and potentially beneficial therapy,” she adds.

Though it is not a cure, vitamin D3 could be beneficial to those with chronic hives not only because of its efficacy, but because it is easily accessible and not as costly as traditional hives medications that pose substantial side effects, says Poole.

The study was published in the February 7 edition of the journal Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, April 2014 (online 2/26/14)