The role of vitamin D in prevention and treatment of infection

Inflammation & Allergy - Drug Targets, 07/23/2013

Gunville F et al. – Vitamin D is well known for its classic role in the maintenance of bone mineral density. Given its influence on the immune system and inflammatory cascade, vitamin D may have an important future role in the prevention and treatment of infection.

  • However, vitamin D also has an important “non-classic“ influence on the body's immune system by modulating the innate and adaptive immune system, influencing the production of important endogenous antimicrobial peptides such as cathelicidin, and regulating the inflammatory cascade.
  • Multiple epidemiological studies in adults and children have demonstrated that vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased risk and greater severity of infection, particularly of the respiratory tract.
  • Although the exact mechanisms by which vitamin D may improve immune responses to infection continue to be evaluated, vitamin D supplementation trials of prevention and adjunct therapy for infection are underway.

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