AsthmaHow does vitamin D work?

Vitamin D may reduce the risk of asthma exacerbations by limiting the risk of viral infections, in part by inducing production of cathelicidin and defensins12345678.

However, vitamin D also shifts the Th1-Th2 balance toward Th29, thus potentially increasing the risk of asthma exacerbations10

As a result, high vitamin D doses are not recommended for those with asthma9. However, because vitamin D also enhances production of IL-1011121314, which reduces the risk of asthma attacks, this effect may trump shifting of the Th1-Th2 balance towards Th2.

Page last edited: 09 May 2011

References

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  2. Cannell, J. J. Zasloff, M. Garland, C. F. Scragg, R. Giovannucci, E. On the epidemiology of influenza. Virol J. 2008; 529.
  3. Ginde, A. A. Mansbach, J. M. Camargo, C. A., Jr. Association between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level and upper respiratory tract infection in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Arch Intern Med. 2009 Feb 23; 169 (4): 384-90.
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  7. Urashima, M. Segawa, T. Okazaki, M. Kurihara, M. Wada, Y. Ida, H. Randomized trial of vitamin D supplementation to prevent seasonal influenza A in schoolchildren. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 May; 91 (5): 1255-60.
  8. Gombart AF. The vitamin D-antimicrobial peptide pathway and its role in protection against infection. Future Microbiol. 2009 Nov; 4 (9): 1151-65.
  9. Kuo, Y. T. Kuo, C. H. Lam, K. P. Chu, Y. T. Wang, W. L. Huang, C. H. Hung, C. H. Effects of vitamin D3 on expression of tumor necrosis factor-alpha and chemokines by monocytes. J Food Sci. 2010 Aug 1; 75 (6): H200-4.
  10. Wegmann, M. Th2 cells as targets for therapeutic intervention in allergic bronchial asthma. Expert Rev Mol Diagn. 2009 Jan; 9 (1): 85-100.
  11. Bosse, Y. Lemire, M. Poon, A. H. Daley, D. He, J. Q. Sandford, A. White, J. H. James, A. L. Musk, A. W. Palmer, L. J. Raby, B. A. Weiss, S. T. Kozyrskyj, A. L. Becker, A. Hudson, T. J. Laprise, C. Asthma and genes encoding components of the vitamin D pathway. Respir Res. 2009; 1098.
  12. Dimeloe, S. Nanzer, A. Ryanna, K. Hawrylowicz, C. Regulatory T cells, inflammation and the allergic response-The role of glucocorticoids and Vitamin D. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2010 May 31; 120 (2-3): 86-95.
  13. Sandhu, M. S. Casale, T. B. The role of vitamin D in asthma. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2010 Sep; 105 (3): 191-9; quiz 200-2, 217.
  14. Searing, D. A. Leung, D. Y. Vitamin D in atopic dermatitis, asthma and allergic diseases. Immunol Allergy Clin North Am. 2010 Aug; 30 (3): 397-409.