Randomized trial of vitamin D supplementation for winter-related atopic dermatitis in children

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2014 Oct;134(4):831-835.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2014.08.002.


Background: Epidemiologic and preclinical data, and a small randomized trial in Boston, suggest that vitamin D supplementation may improve winter-related atopic dermatitis (AD).

Objective: To determine the effect of vitamin D supplementation on winter-related AD.

Methods: We performed a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of Mongolian children with winter-related AD (clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT00879424). Baseline eligibility included age 2 to 17 years, AD score 10 to 72 using the Eczema Area and Severity Index (EASI), and winter-related AD (eg, history of AD worsening during the fall-to-winter transition). Subjects were enrolled in Ulaanbaatar during winter and randomly assigned to oral cholecalciferol (1000 IU/day) versus placebo for 1 month. All children and parents received emollient and patient education about AD and basic skin care. The main outcomes were changes in EASI score and in Investigator's Global Assessment.

Results: The 107 enrolled children had a mean age of 9 years (SD 5), and 59% were male. Their median age of AD onset was 3 months (interquartile range 2 months to 1 year) and mean EASI score at baseline 21 (SD 9). One-month follow-up data were available for 104 (97%) children. Compared with placebo, vitamin D supplementation for 1 month produced a clinically and statistically significant improvement in EASI score (adjusted mean change: -6.5 vs -3.3, respectively; P = .04). Moreover, change in Investigator's Global Assessment favored vitamin D over placebo (P = .03). There were no adverse effects in either group.

Conclusion: Vitamin D supplementation improved winter-related AD among Mongolian children, a population likely to have vitamin D deficiency in winter.

Keywords: Mongolia; Randomized controlled trial; atopic dermatitis; children; nutritional supplement; vitamin D; winter.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cholecalciferol / administration & dosage*
  • Cholecalciferol / adverse effects
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / drug therapy*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mongolia
  • Seasons
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vitamin D / administration & dosage*
  • Vitamin D / agonists
  • Vitamin D / analogs & derivatives


  • Vitamin D
  • Cholecalciferol

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00879424