Vitamin D Deficiency and Effects of Vitamin D Supplementation on Disease Severity in Patients with Atopic Dermatitis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis in Adults and Children

Nutrients. 2019 Aug 9;11(8):1854. doi: 10.3390/nu11081854.


Research has investigated 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) levels in the Atopic Dermatitis (AD) population, as well as changes in AD severity after vitamin D (VitD) supplementation. We performed an up-to-date systematic review and meta-analysis of these findings. Electronic searches of MEDLINE, EMBASE and COCHRANE up to February 2018 were performed. Observational studies comparing 25(OH)D between AD patients and controls, as well as trials documenting baseline serum 25(OH)D levels and clinical severity by either SCORAD/EASI scores, were included. Of the 1085 articles retrieved, sixteen were included. A meta-analysis of eleven studies of AD patients vs. healthy controls (HC) found a mean difference of -14 nmol/L (95% CI -25 to -2) for all studies and -16 nmol/L (95% CI -31 to -1) for the paediatric studies alone. A meta-analysis of three VitD supplementation trials found lower SCORAD by -11 points (95% CI -13 to -9, p < 0.00001). This surpasses the Minimal Clinical Important Difference for AD of 9.0 points (by 22%). There were greater improvements in trials lasting three months and the mean weighted dose of all trials was 1500-1600 IU/daily. Overall, the AD population, especially the paediatric subset, may be at high-risk for lower serum 25(OH)D. Supplementation with around 1600 IU/daily results in a clinically meaningful AD severity reduction.

Keywords: 25(OH)D; 25-hydroxyvitamin D; SCORAD; atopic dermatitis; case-control; meta-analysis; paediatric; randomised control trial; supplementation; systematic review.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / blood
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / diagnosis
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / drug therapy*
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / epidemiology
  • Dietary Supplements* / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vitamin D / adverse effects
  • Vitamin D / analogs & derivatives*
  • Vitamin D / blood
  • Vitamin D / therapeutic use*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / blood
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / diagnosis
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / drug therapy*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / epidemiology


  • Biomarkers
  • Vitamin D
  • 25-hydroxyvitamin D