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Open AccessReview

Vitamin D Every Day to Keep the Infection Away?

Department of Dermatology, University of Cologne, 50937 Cologne, Germany
Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne, University of Cologne, 50937 Cologne, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Nutrients 2015, 7(6), 4170-4188;
Received: 31 March 2015 / Revised: 13 May 2015 / Accepted: 15 May 2015 / Published: 29 May 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immune Regulation by Vitamin D)
PDF [294 KB, uploaded 29 May 2015]


Within the last decade, vitamin D has emerged as a central regulator of host defense against infections. In this regard, vitamin D triggers effective antimicrobial pathways against bacterial, fungal and viral pathogens in cells of the human innate immune system. However, vitamin D also mediates potent tolerogenic effects: it is generally believed that vitamin D attenuates inflammation and acquired immunity, and thus potentially limits collateral tissue damage. Nevertheless, several studies indicate that vitamin D promotes aspects of acquired host defense. Clinically, vitamin D deficiency has been associated with an increased risk for various infectious diseases in epidemiological studies; yet, robust data from controlled trials investigating the use of vitamin D as a preventive or therapeutic agent are missing. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge regarding the effect of vitamin D on innate and acquired host defense, and speculate on the difficulties to translate the available molecular medicine data into practical therapeutic or preventive recommendations. View Full-Text
Keywords: Vitamin D; macrophage; dendritic cell; T cell; infection and immunity Vitamin D; macrophage; dendritic cell; T cell; infection and immunity

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Kroner, J.D.C.; Sommer, A.; Fabri, M. Vitamin D Every Day to Keep the Infection Away? Nutrients 2015, 7, 4170-4188.

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