The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic was declared a public health emergency of international concern by the World Health Organization. COVID-19 has high transmissibility and could result in acute lung injury in a fraction of patients. By counterbalancing the activity of the renin-angiotensin system, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, which is the fusion receptor of the virus, plays a protective role against the development of complications of this viral infection. Vitamin D can induce the expression of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 and regulate the immune system through different mechanisms. Epidemiologic studies of the relationship between vitamin D and various respiratory infections were reviewed and, here, the postulated mechanisms and clinical data supporting the protective role of vitamin D against COVID-19-mediated complications are discussed.
Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; angiotensin-converting enzyme 2; coronavirus infections; prevention; respiratory tract infection; vitamin D.
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