Vitamin D and asthma

Curr Opin Pulm Med. 2011 Jan;17(1):1-5. doi: 10.1097/MCP.0b013e3283411440.

Abstract

Purpose of review: asthma is a disease that continues to carry a significant health burden on humanity. Vitamin D is thought to play a role in many chronic diseases as it may possess immunomodulatory properties. This article will review the role of vitamin D regulation on the immune system and its potential implication in the pathophysiology of asthma.

Recent findings: vitamin D receptors are present on many cells in the body, specifically peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Vitamin D has been shown to regulate the balance of several pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory responses in the immune system. Studies have suggested that prenatal vitamin D intake has an effect on childhood wheezing and asthma. Additionally, vitamin D may play a role in asthma exacerbations, and recent evidence also suggests its importance in steroid resistant asthma.

Summary: vitamin D has a complex role on the immune system and its regulation of various aspects of immunity has allowed speculation on its potential role in asthma. However, the net effect of vitamin D on the immune system and its role in asthma still remains unanswered. More research needs to address the diagnostic and therapeutic implications vitamin D may have in the future of asthma management.

Publication types

  • Editorial
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Asthma / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Immune System / physiology
  • Lung / physiology
  • Vitamin D / physiology*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / physiopathology

Substances

  • Vitamin D