Psoriasis is a chronic disorder of the immune system, which causes cells to accumulate on the skin’s surface. This typically results in scaly, thick, red patches, which can be painful and itchy. Approximately 7.5 million people suffer from psoriasis in the U.S. alone.Unfortunately, for about 60% of those suffering from psoriasis, the disease has a serious impact on their everyday life.
It Is Actually More Than a Common Skin Condition
Even though it appears as a skin condition, psoriasis is more serious autoimmune disease. Namely, part of the reaction occurs when a white blood cell known as a T cell starts mistakenly attacking your healthy skin cells.
Afterwards, these T cells stimulate other immune responses, which accelerate skin cell growth. This causes them to move to your outermost skin layer.
Since the dead skin cells cannot be eliminated rapidly, they build up into the thick patches related to psoriasis.
In some cases, the skin could become so inflamed that it bleeds and cracks. About 30% of those suffering from the disease also develop psoriatic arthritis that is characterized by debilitating joint damage.
Moreover, psoriasis sufferers are also more likely to develop many other chronic diseases, such as heart diseased, high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes, and eye conditions.
People that are not familiar with psoriasis might view it as a contagious rash. That’s why a number of those suffering from the disease are excluded socially. They often suffer from social isolation, depression, and low self-esteem.
Vitamin D Plays a Key Role in the Treatment of Many Autoimmune Diseases, Such as Psoriasis
In case you suffer from psoriasis, you should have your vitamin D levels checked as well as keep levels in the therapeutic range of 50-70 ng/ml all year long. This vitamin acts as a powerful immune modulator, which makes it effective at preventing many autoimmune diseases.
A study showed that vitamin D could have incredible immunomodulatory effects in psoriasis. However, about 50% of sufferers in summer and 80% in winter suffered from vitamin D deficiency.
This vitamin can help regulate the growth and differentiation of skin cells; and regulate the immune functions of T lymphocytes and many other cells. It can also inhibit natural killer cell and cytotoxic T cell activity, thus regulating the growth of skin cells.
Furthermore, vitamin D derivatives are widely used as a topical treatment for the disease. However, phototherapy is considered to be a more effective kind of treatment.
Unluckily, the existing psoriasis drug treatments are expensive and risky. Raptiva, one of the medications used to treat psoriasis, was actually pulled from the market for elevating the likelihood of serious brain infections.
In addition, one of the most common drug treatments for psoriasis is the medication psoralen with UV light exposure. The medication makes your skin more sensitive to UV light. However, it is usually combined with UVA exposure. It is important to know that UVA rays are related to skin damage, whereas UVB light helps your skin create vitamin D.
In Case You Suffer from Psoriasis, the First Thing You Should Do Is Optimize Your Vitamin D Levels
The ideal treatment for psoriasis is getting safe sun exposure because it optimizes your vitamin D levels. You can actually do it yourself without having to visit a dermatologist.
A professor of dermatology and author of the book ˮThe UV Advantageˮ, Dr. Michael Holick, used active vitamin D to treat psoriasis. Dr. Holick received the American Skin Association’s Psoriasis Research Achievement Award for using active vitamin D to treat psoriasis. He actually recommended safe sun exposure for optimizing vitamin D levels. Sunlight exposure works as UV rays in sunlight and some kinds of artificial light can kill off the activated T cells in the skin, thus slowing down cell turnover and decreasing the inflammation and scaling of the skin.
Getting adequate exposure to sunlight can help optimize your vitamin D levels and enhance your health in general. Those suffering from psoriasis also have vitamin D deficiency and are at a higher risk of chronic diseases, such as metabolic syndrome and heart disease. Psoriasis sufferers are also at a higher risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, and this is also related to vitamin D deficiency.
Here Is the Best Way to Optimize Your Vitamin D Levels:
The optimal level of vitamin D for general health lies between 50 and 70 ng/ml. But, your vitamin D levels need to be between 70 and 100 ng/ml to help treat chronic diseases like autoimmune diseases (psoriasis), heart disease, neurological disease, and cancer.
In fact, vitamin D deficiency is a common health problem worldwide, even in areas where you would think that almost all people would get adequate sun exposure. For instance, a recent study conducted in India showed that about 69% of 37,000 people tested across the country suffered from vitamin D deficiency.
The best way to optimize the levels of vitamin D in your body is via sensible UVB exposure. In addition, you may also want to take an oral vitamin D3 supplement. Experts agree that about 35 IUs of this vitamin per pound of body weight should be used as an estimate for the ideal dose. However, you should have your levels checked in order to be sure.
If You Take a Vitamin D Supplement, You Should Also Increase Your Magnesium and Vitamin K2 Levels through Diet or Supplementation:
In case you decide to take a supplement, you should take vitamin D3, NOT synthetic vitamin D2. You should also take magnesium and vitamin K2 in combination with it. Moreover, as vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, you should also take healthy fats in combination with it to help improve its absorption. In addition, the main role of vitamin K2 is to help deliver calcium to the adequate areas in your body. Also, without a sufficient amount of this vitamin, calcium could accumulate in your soft tissues and arteries and result in many health issues. This can contribute to calcification, which may result in hardening of your arteries, i.e., a side effect previously known to be triggered by vitamin D toxicity. However, improper calcification is probably caused by very low levels of vitamin K2 than simply very high levels of vitamin D.
Additionally, magnesium is another significant mineral for regulation of the activity of vitamin D because it transforms vitamin D into its active form; and for adequate calcium function. This mineral also plays a role in the activation of enzyme activity that allows your body to utilize the vitamin D. In short, all enzymes that help metabolize vitamin D need magnesium to function. As with vitamin K2 and vitamin D, lack of magnesium is also a common problem, and in case you suffer from magnesium deficiency and take a calcium supplement, you could make the condition even worse.
In addition, dietary sources of magnesium include sea veggies, like nori, kelp and dulse. In case you opt for a supplement, consider taking magnesium threonate or magnesium citrate for maximum benefits.
That’s not all, boron, vitamin A and zinc are other significant cofactors, which interact with vitamin D. Therefore, you should get these nutrients from a diet high in organic, whole foods.