Vitamin D Supplementation in Diabetic Foot Ulcers: A Current Perspective

Curr Diabetes Rev. 2021;17(4):512-521. doi: 10.2174/1573399816999201012195735.


Introduction: Diabetic foot ulcer (DFU) is a major complication of diabetes mellitus, as it can physically and emotionally impact the person. Its management can be challenging and expensive, depending on the severity of the wound and the presence of infection.

Background: The fat-soluble molecule, vitamin D, has gained great importance ever since its pleiotropism has been recognized. Its efficacy could be attributed to the presence of vitamin D receptors in most of the body tissues. Vitamin D plays a significant role in cell proliferation, differentiation, and immune modulation. It modulates the T and B cells resulting in the suppression of the immunoglobulins, autoimmunity, and inflammation.

Methods: We performed a literature search with the objective to highlight the role of vitamin D in peripheral vascular disease and peripheral neuropathy, which are the major risk factors for DFU, as well as evidences of its role in wound healing and management of DFU.

Results: Preclinical and clinical studies have shown that vitamin D influences multiple phases of wound healing and thereby accelerates the process. It modulates various cells involved in proliferation and remodelling phases. Vitamin D also enhances the expression of antimicrobial peptides that help to eliminate the microbes, as well as suppress the proinflammatory responses while enhancing the anti-inflammatory responses.

Conclusion: This review concludes vitamin D to have a protective role in the immune and vascular system, improve glycaemic outcomes, and wound healing. Therefore, vitamin D could be a preferred adjuvant in the management of DFU.

Keywords: Diabetic foot ulcer; foot infection; immunity; peripheral vascular disease; vitamin D; wound healing.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Mellitus*
  • Diabetic Foot* / drug therapy
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Humans
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamins
  • Wound Healing


  • Vitamins
  • Vitamin D