Vitamin D and innate immunity

Dermatol Ther. Jan-Feb 2010;23(1):13-22. doi: 10.1111/j.1529-8019.2009.01287.x.


Vitamin D's role in bone health has been well established. Recently, studies have identified additional roles of vitamin D in the immune system, cardiovascular system, and cancer prevention. The effect of vitamin D on the immune system is particularly relevant to the dermatologist in that it has implications for atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, and skin cancer. However, there is much disagreement on a dose of vitamin D that is both safe and effective as both ultraviolet exposure and certain vitamin D-rich foods come with unwanted consequences. This review aims to update the dermatologist on the roles of vitamin D in the immune system, the safety and dose of different sources, and risk factors for vitamin D deficiency that may necessitate supplementation. Immune consequences of vitamin D status represent one additional aspect that illustrates how guidelines for supplementation are needed and will only be useful clinically if they are presented in context with validated controlled clinical trials.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dermatitis, Atopic / drug therapy
  • Diet
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate*
  • Nutrition Policy
  • Psoriasis / drug therapy
  • Skin Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Ultraviolet Rays
  • Vitamin D / administration & dosage*
  • Vitamin D / immunology*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / immunology*


  • Vitamin D