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Study suggests vitamin D supplementation could improve severe burn outcome

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Reprinted with the kind permission of Life Extension.

November 8 2017. The results of a study reported at the Society for Endocrinology annual conference, held November 6-8, 2017 in Harrogate, England, suggest that improving vitamin D status could improve the healing of individuals with severe burns. The study is the first to investigate the role of vitamin D in burn injury recovery.

Burn injuries are at risk of infections that could lead to potentially life-threatening sepsis. Vitamin D is associated with an antibacterial action that could help lower infection risk.

Professor Janet Lord of the Institute of Inflammation & Aging in Birmingham, England and colleagues tracked recovery progress during a one-year period in 25 patients with severe burns. Blood samples collected at ten time points were analyzed for 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 levels and other factors. It was observed that subjects who had higher levels of the vitamin had better wound healing and prognosis, along with less scarring and fewer complications during the year following their injuries. It was also noted that burn patients had lower levels of vitamin D than healthy individuals.

“Major burn injury severely reduces vitamin D levels and adding this vitamin back may be a simple, safe and cost-effective way to improve outcomes for burns patients, with minimal cost to National Health Service,” Dr Lord suggested. “Low vitamin D levels were associated with worse outcomes in burn patients including life threatening infections, mortality and delayed wound healing. It was also associated with worse scarring, but vitamin D levels are something generally overlooked by clinicians.”

“Data indicate that low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 impairs tissue-specific antibacterial and wound healing responses in burn patients, potentially via tissue-specific activation and function,” the authors write. “Supplementing with high doses of vitamin D to increase serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 may greatly improve health outcomes in burns patients.”

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