To date, research has shown that vitamin D has benefits for the healing of diabetic foot ulcers. But scientists in the U.K. recently released the results of testing that show that it may also help in burn wound healing. The study of burn patients was conducted by the Institute of Inflammation and Aging in Birmingham, U.K., and was featured at the Society of Endocrinology’s annual conference in Harrogate.

A low-cost solution

According to the researchers, giving vitamin D supplements to severely burned patients could be a low-cost way to not only help their wound heal but also assist them in warding off infection.

A previous study found that patients with leg ulcers who were given vitamin D supplementssaw their ulcers reduce in size. Meanwhile, another study concluded that vitamin D aided in the formation of a permeable that protects against fluid loss and infection.

Vitamin D is already known for its antibacterial abilities, as studies have proven. It can increase the antibacterial proteins and provide an environment that can kill a variety of bacteria.

In the new study, the first to examine the effect of vitamin D in burn wound treatment, scientists monitored the recovery of 38 severely burned patients over the course of a year, while also monitoring their vitamin D level. On average, the patients had burns over 42 percent of their body.

Low vitamin D levels

The scientists discovered that, in general, the burn patients had lower vitamin D levels compared to healthy people. They also discovered that those burn patients with higher levels of vitamin D recovered better and faster than those who had lower levels. Patients with higher levels of vitamin D also had fewer complications related to their condition and less wound scarring.

“Low vitamin D levels were associated with worse outcomes in burn patients including life-threatening infections, mortality, and delayed wound healing,” senior investigator and Institute of Inflammation and Aging professor Janet Lord told Medical News Today. “It was also associated with worse scarring but vitamin D levels are something generally overlooked by clinicians.”

Researchers were unclear as to why burn wound patients demonstrate a drop in vitamin D after their injury, but noted that the decline in vitamin D was not related to the degree or severity of the burn.

Advanced Tissue is the nation’s leader in delivering specialized wound care supplies to patients, delivering to both homes and long-term care facilities.