Vitamin D receptor stimulation to reduce acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in patients with coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 infections: Revised Ms SBMB 2020_166

J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2020 Sep;202:105719. doi: 10.1016/j.jsbmb.2020.105719. Epub 2020 Jun 11.


Coronavirus infection is a serious health problem awaiting an effective vaccine and/or antiviral treatment. The major complication of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the Acute Respiratory Distress syndrome (ARDS), is due to a variety of mechanisms including cytokine storm, dysregulation of the renin-angiotensin system, neutrophil activation and increased (micro)coagulation. Based on many preclinical studies and observational data in humans, ARDS may be aggravated by vitamin D deficiency and tapered down by activation of the vitamin D receptor. Several randomized clinical trials using either oral vitamin D or oral Calcifediol (25OHD) are ongoing. Based on a pilot study, oral calcifediol may be the most promising approach. These studies are expected to provide guidelines within a few months.

Keywords: 1α, 25(OH)2D or 1α, 25-dihydroxyvitamin D or calcitriol; Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS); Calcifediol or 25-hydroxyvitamin D3; Corona virus; Cytokine storm; Hypercoagulability; Lung diseases; Renin-angiotensin system; SARS-CoV-2; Vitamin D, vitamin D3 or cholecalciferol.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Betacoronavirus / drug effects
  • COVID-19
  • Calcifediol / administration & dosage
  • Calcifediol / therapeutic use*
  • Coronavirus Infections / complications
  • Coronavirus Infections / drug therapy*
  • Coronavirus Infections / pathology
  • Humans
  • Pandemics
  • Pilot Projects
  • Pneumonia, Viral / complications
  • Pneumonia, Viral / drug therapy*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / pathology
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Renin-Angiotensin System / drug effects
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / complications
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / pathology
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Vitamin D / administration & dosage
  • Vitamin D / therapeutic use*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / complications
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / drug therapy
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / pathology
  • Vitamins / administration & dosage
  • Vitamins / therapeutic use*


  • Vitamins
  • Vitamin D
  • Calcifediol