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.