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Vitiligo is a skin disease that causes patches of skin to lose color and appear pale. The cells that make pigment (color) in the skin are destroyed. Vitiligo often develops in people with other autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes, thyroid disease, and pernicious anemia. Let’s know first the role of vitamins in vitiligo treatment.
Role of vitamins in Vitiligo treatment:
Vitamins are perfect for the skin. They help keep it healthy and protect it from sunlight’s harmful effects, especially ultraviolet radiation. Vitamins control cell growth and help to produce new skin cells. Melanin gives color or pigment to skin & hair. So, In people with vitiligo, melanocytes are destroyed, which produce less Vitamin D, so they have a low level of vitamin D in the blood. Lack of vitamin D makes your body unable to use calcium and phosphorus- these minerals are essential for a healthy skeleton and teeth.If you don’t take supplements containing vitamins during spring, fall, or winter months, a deficiency of vitamins can appear. And if this deficiency is not treated correctly, it will cause severe problems like:
1- Poor Immunity: Vitamins B and C helps to protect the body from infection, making you more likely to get sick.
2- Anaemia: Lack of vitamin B12 and iron can cause anaemia (a decrease in red blood cells), making people tire easily and feel weak. Iron deficiency also causes pale skin color, shortness of breath during exercise or activity, and other symptoms.
3- Skin Problems: Vitamin A helps ensure that skin keeps its normal function by keeping it healthy. It protects skin from infections like acne and psoriasis. And it also keeps lips smooth, skin moist, and hair shiny! So those with vitiligo have a severe deficiency of vitamin A that results in drier and thinner skin.
4-Poor Growth: A deficiency in vitamin D can lead to rickets in children and poor bone growth in adults. If you’re deficient, you’re more likely than others to break bones when you fall, which is common for people with vitiligo. Also, Vitamin D plays a vital role in Vision! People with low levels of Vitamin D are at increased risk for developing cataracts (a clouding of the eye’s lens) and Age-related Macular Degeneration.
5-Heart problems: Vitamin C helps to keep artery walls healthy by preventing them from hardening, which can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. Lack of this vitamin may also increase LDL cholesterol levels in the blood.
How do vitamins improve the immune system and prevent autoimmune disorders like vitiligo?
Vitiligo is an autoimmune disorder, and vitamins play an essential role in our body’s immune system. Every person’s immune system comprises white blood cells, lymph nodes, tonsils, thymus, spleen, etc. And these are responsible for fighting against pathogens like bacteria and viruses by using particular proteins called antibodies which recognize antigens (substances that cause your immune system to produce an antibody) present on the surface of pathogenic cells.
Vitiligo patients have a reduced number of antibodies against specific antigens known as autoantibodies. This will lead them to a lack of vitamin A and B12. Deficiency in Vitamin D may be associated with autoimmune thyroid disease and type 1 diabetes because it makes you more likely to get infections and less resistant to fight them.
How balance vitamins with food?
Vitiligo patients should take a combination of Vitamins A, B12, C, and D to make a healthy immune system. You can take foods rich in these vitamins to get benefits.
- Vitamin A in the form of Retinoids is essential for DNA synthesis and regulates cell proliferation. It also repairs damaged cells from the sun’s UV rays. It is found in fish liver oil, shrimp, fish, cheese, butter, eggs, etc.
- Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that boosts the immune system and acts as an anti-inflammatory. It is found in citrus fruits, peppers, berries, broccoli, cabbage, etc. Also, lemon juice can be an additional source of vitamin c during winter months when we don’t get enough sunlight to produce it naturally in our bodies.
- Vitamin D prevents bone diseases like Rickets and Osteoporosis. Sunlight is the best source of Vitamin D (5 minutes in the morning), but you should take supplements in winter because sunlight is unavailable most of the year. It is found in salmon, mackerel, sardines, etc. Fish oil and Fatty fishes is another excellent source of Vitamin D.
- Vitamin B12, as we know, helps to form red blood cells and prevents anaemia. It is found in shellfish like clams and oysters, beef liver, milk, cheese, etc.
Because vitiligo is a lifelong condition and is also related to your immune system, it is always good to check these levels with lab tests before taking any supplements. But if you can’t afford those expensive lab tests, then simple multivitamins with balanced nutrients are helpful for vitiligo patients.
How to take vitamins on a daily diet?
Doctors advise vitiligo patients to take multivitamin supplements which contain Vitamins A, C, D, E, K, and B group vitamins. First of all, you have to be sure that the supplement is not synthetic! Because instead of curing your body, it will harm it. So consult your doctor before buying any vitamin supplements from the store because he knows your medical history and can better assess if this kind of treatment is right for you.
Vitamins for vitiligo treatment:
- Vitamin A (carotene) Vitamin A helps maintain average skin growth and repair. Most of the body’s vitamin A is made in the liver. The rest comes from food containing carotenes (vitamin A), such as carrots, or retinol (vitamin A), which is found in cheese, egg yolks, whole milk, fortified breakfast cereals, beef liver, fish oil, cod liver oil, and butter. Eating too many of these foods can cause a vitamin A overdose. Vitamin A plays an important role in night vision. It also helps regulate bone metabolism and immune function. People who don’t get enough vitamin A can become blind.
- Vitamin B1 (thiamine) Vitamin b1 can be derived from fish, legumes, nuts, and whole grains. The nervous system needs to function correctly. Vitamin B12 helps maintain normal red blood cells and prevents them from breaking down. Vitamin B9 helps your body’s cells grow and divide into new cells. It also helps prevent changes that may lead to cancer. You should get the daily requirement of vitamin A in your diet. Some people who have vitiligo take a combination of vitamin A and E derivatives in large doses under medical supervision until the skin pigments sufficiently.
3. Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) Vitamin c antioxidant properties so may help protect skin cells against damage caused by free radicals. Vitamin c is essential for the growth and repair of body tissues, including the skin. It also helps form collagen, which gives structure to skin, bones, cartilage, and scar tissue. Like vitamin A, too much vitamin c may be dangerous. The recommended daily amount (RDA) of vitamin C for adult men is 90 mg per day; for women, it’s 75 mg per day.
4. Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) Vitamin d deficiency can cause rickets in children or osteomalacia in adults. It can also raise your risk of MS (multiple sclerosis), cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, tuberculosis, and various autoimmune diseases like vitiligo. If you don’t get enough vitamin d, the calcium in your body may be absorbed improperly and lead to a higher risk of health problems like osteoporosis.
- Vitamin E (tocopherol) Vitamin e is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect against cell damage from free radicals. People who take large doses of supplemental vitamin e have been found to develop fractures more frequently than those not taking supplements. Supplementation with high-dose vitamin e was also found to increase all-cause mortality among male smokers. It’s best to get vitamin e from food such as nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Vitamin e deficiency is rare in healthy people who eat a regular diet. Other names for Vitamin E: alpha-tocopherol, D-Alpha Tocopherol, DL-Alpha Tocopherol, dl-alpha-tocopherol, natural vitamin e.
6. Vitamin K (phylloquinone) Vitamin k is essential for proper blood clotting. It also helps with bone formation and protects against osteoporosis. Vitamin k comes from leafy green vegetables such as kale, spinach, cabbage, and cauliflower. The human body can’t produce its vitamin k, so people who don’t eat enough of these foods need a supplement. If you take a blood thinner medication or anticoagulant medicine, tell your doctor that you’re taking a vitamin k supplement because they may interact with each other.
- Biotin (B complex) Biotin helps the body metabolize fats and carbohydrates. It also plays a crucial role in cell growth, so doctors sometimes prescribe it to treat hair loss. You can find biotin in egg yolks, whole-grain products, peanuts, almonds, Swiss chard, cauliflower, and bananas. The recommended daily amount of biotin for adults is 30 mcg.
- Vitamin B complex Vitamin B Complex keeps the nervous system healthy. A lack of vitamin b1 can lead to neurological pain and can cause depression. The deficiency of vitamin b12 can cause neurological problems like tingling in the arms and legs.
- Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) Vitamin B12 is used to treat vitamin b12 deficiency anemia, pernicious anemia, diabetic nerve damage, peripheral neuropathy, and Alzheimer’s disease. Taking large doses may be toxic, so make sure you talk to your doctor before taking any supplement other names for Vitamin B 12: Cobain, Cyanocobalamin, Hydroxycobalamin, Methylcobalamin, Cobamamide, Adenosylcobalamin.
- Pantothenic Acid (B5): Vitamin B5 is needed to release energy from carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. It’s also involved in manufacturing hormones, creating fatty acids that carry fat through the blood, making red blood cells, and maintaining a healthy digestive system.
Role of Vitamin D3 in vitiligo
Vitamin D3 plays a vital role in the pathogenesis of vitiligo. Vitamin D3 causes differentiation and proliferation of melanocytes and induces tyrosinase (an enzyme that catalyzes the rate-limiting step in melanin synthesis) expression. Vitamin D3 inhibits apoptosis of epidermal cells by inducing Bcl-2, decreasing the formation of reactive oxygen species, modulating cellular calcium concentration.
Here are key benefits of taking Vitamin D3
- Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is one of the most beneficial vitamins for vitiligo treatment and prevention of further damage.
- It ensures faster and better results in the case of depigmentation therapy.
- It also helps in the early repigmentation of vitiligo patches and ensures better results at the end of depigmentation.
- Vitamin D3 works as an excellent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent which fights damage caused by free radicals to skin cells.
- Early studies have shown that Vitamin D3 could prevent further damage caused by sunlight to skin cells and may also help in faster repigmentation of vitiligo patches when used along with depigmentation therapy.
- Studies has shown that Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is very effective in reducing hyperpigmentation (increase in melanin) or darkening of the skin due to various factors like inflammation, injury, trauma, etc
- People with vitiligo produce antibodies against melanin. They usually lack vitamin D, and thus their immune system malfunctions badly, which triggers an autoimmune response that leads to the destruction of tanning cells responsible for skin pigmentation.
However, vitamins can help reduce hyperpigmentation but cannot be termed as a treatment for vitiligo. Balance your Vitamins intake with food or consult a good doctor before taking any supplements. You can also consult a homeopathy doctor or a dermatologist at the earliest for better results.
Homeopathic treatment for vitiligo:
Homeopathic remedies are one of the best natural treatment options for vitiligo. Homeopathic medicines treat vitiligo more holistically and help stop further damage to skin cells, leading to discoloration or complete loss of pigmentation.
Also, homeopathy treats autoimmune diseases like vitiligo very effectively by strengthening the immune system, thus delaying the onset of further attacks.
Homeopathy offers natural treatment options to remove or reduce all kinds of symptoms that are caused due to vitiligo. Some of the most common symptoms for which people opt for homeopathy treatment are-
- Bleaching of skin color in patches
- Appearance of white patches on skin areas exposed to the sun
- Appearance of white spots
- Depigmentation or loss of skin color
- Hypopigmentation or lighter colored patches on vitiligo affected parts
- Scaly and dry skin
- Itching sensation in patchy regions due to lack of natural oils.
- Thinning of skin, especially on fingers, toes, etc
- Premature aging of the skin
- Dryness or roughness in patches
As homeopathy doctors treat all the symptoms simultaneously, you will notice an improvement in the appearance of your skin from the very beginning of treatment. Soon after starting homeopathic remedies, you will see a considerable change in the color and texture of your skin. You can completely get rid of vitiligo if you regularly visit your dermatologist or homeopathy doctor, who will provide you guidance regarding the dosage & duration of vitamins. For information, you can book an appointment with a homeopathy doctor through OHO Homeopathy now!