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).
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