Relationships Between Vitamin D, Gut Microbiome, and Systemic Autoimmunity

Front Immunol. 2020 Jan 21:10:3141. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2019.03141. eCollection 2019.


There is increasing recognition of the role the microbiome plays in states of health and disease. Microbiome studies in systemic autoimmune diseases demonstrate unique microbial patterns in Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus to a lesser extent, whereas there is no single bug or pattern that characterizes Multiple Sclerosis. Autoimmune diseases tend to share a predisposition for vitamin D deficiency, which alters the microbiome and integrity of the gut epithelial barrier. In this review, we summarize the influence of intestinal bacteria on the immune system, explore the microbial patterns that have emerged from studies on autoimmune diseases, and discuss how vitamin D deficiency may contribute to autoimmunity via its effects on the intestinal barrier function, microbiome composition, and/or direct effects on immune responses.

Keywords: autoimmune disease; bacterial composition; gut barrier; microbiome; vitamin D.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoimmune Diseases / genetics
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology*
  • Autoimmune Diseases / microbiology*
  • Autoimmunity
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome*
  • Humans
  • Vitamin D / immunology*


  • Vitamin D