Regulation of Immune Function by Vitamin D and Its Use in Diseases of Immunity

Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am. 2017 Dec;46(4):1061-1094. doi: 10.1016/j.ecl.2017.07.010. Epub 2017 Oct 6.


Evidence exists for a role for vitamin D and its active metabolites in modulating immune functions. In animal models, vitamin D deficiency is associated with a higher risk for autoimmunity in genetically predisposed subjects and increases in susceptibility to infections. In addition, high-dose vitamin D can improve immune health, prevent autoimmunity, and improve defense against infections. In humans, evidence exists on associations between vitamin D deficiency and impaired immune function, leading to autoimmunity in genetically predisposed people and increased risk for infections; data on therapeutic immune effects of vitamin D supplementation when vitamin D levels are already sufficient are lacking.

Keywords: Autoimmunity; B cell T cells; Dendritic cells; Infections; Macrophage; Neutrophils; Vitamin D(3).

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoimmunity / drug effects*
  • Cholecalciferol / administration & dosage
  • Cholecalciferol / therapeutic use*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Humans
  • Leukocytes / drug effects*
  • Leukocytes / immunology
  • Macrophages / drug effects*
  • Macrophages / immunology
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / drug therapy*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / immunology


  • Cholecalciferol