Impact of vitamin D supplementation on markers of inflammation in adults with cystic fibrosis hospitalized for a pulmonary exacerbation

Eur J Clin Nutr. 2012 Sep;66(9):1072-4. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2012.82. Epub 2012 Jul 18.


Patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) suffer from chronic lung infection and inflammation leading to respiratory failure. Vitamin D deficiency is common in patients with CF, and correction of vitamin D deficiency may improve innate immunity and reduce inflammation in patients with CF. We conducted a double-blinded, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial of high-dose vitamin D to assess the impact of vitamin D therapy on antimicrobial peptide concentrations and markers of inflammation. We randomized 30 adults with CF hospitalized with a pulmonary exacerbation to 250,000 IU of cholecalciferol or placebo, and evaluated changes in plasma concentrations of inflammatory markers and the antimicrobial peptide LL-37 at baseline and 12 weeks post intervention. In the vitamin D group, there was a 50.4% reduction in tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) at 12 weeks (P<0.01), and there was a trend for a 64.5% reduction in interleukin-6 (IL-6) (P=0.09). There were no significant changes in IL-1β, IL-8, IL-10, IL-18BP and NGAL (neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin). We conclude that a large bolus dose of vitamin D is associated with reductions in two inflammatory cytokines, IL-6 and TNF-α. This study supports the concept that vitamin D may help regulate inflammation in CF, and that further research is needed to elucidate the potential mechanisms involved and the impact on clinical outcomes.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute-Phase Proteins
  • Adult
  • Cathelicidins / blood
  • Cystic Fibrosis / blood
  • Cystic Fibrosis / drug therapy*
  • Cystic Fibrosis / immunology
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / blood
  • Inflammation / drug therapy*
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Interleukins / blood
  • Linear Models
  • Lipocalin-2
  • Lipocalins / blood
  • Male
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / blood
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / blood
  • Vitamin D / administration & dosage*


  • Acute-Phase Proteins
  • Cathelicidins
  • Interleukins
  • LCN2 protein, human
  • Lipocalin-2
  • Lipocalins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Vitamin D
  • ropocamptide