Vitamin D and Respiratory Tract Infections

Vitamin D Deficiency and Respiratory Tract Infections

Vitamin D and Respiratory Tract Infections

Vitamin D and respiratory tract infections

·         Association of vitamin D and respiratory infections has been established in various researches. Observational studies report consistent independent associations between low serum concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D and susceptibility to acute respiratory tract infection (Jolliffe DA, 2013). Vitamin D supports induction of antimicrobial peptides in both bacterial and viral infections. Vitamin D insufficiency has been linked to increased risk of infections, in particular viral respiratory tract infection, tuberculosis, obstructive lung diseases like asthma and COPD (HandsdottirSif, 2011). Results from epidemiological and in vitro data have prompted numerous randomized controlled trials to determine whether vitamin D supplementation can decrease the risk of acute respiratory tract infection.

·         Recent studies, also report in a similar direction. A cross sectional prospective study (Saeed BQ, 2021) done in 287 patients between 18-24 years of age underwent a survey along with the serum Vitamin D evaluation, Body Mass Index(BMI). In the survey the students were asked to report the incidences of RTI in past. It was found that VDD and VDI were highly prevalent among 85% of the students. The median serum 25(OH) D level was 15.8 ng/dl. Amongst the RTI reported the tonsillitis incidents were significantly associated with VDD.

·         A hospital based cross sectional study (Oktaria V, 2021) done in 133 Indonesian children with WHO-defined pneumonia had their vitamin D status determined. Results showed that one in every 5 children with pneumonia had vitamin D deficiency. The same trend was already reported by numerous studies where COVID 19 infection susceptibility, severity and hospital stay were found to be significantly associated with Vitamin D serum levels. In a large population based study (Oristrell J, 2021 ), which evaluated the effects of vitamin D supplementation on COVID 19 outcomes and mortality showed that that patients supplemented with cholecalciferol or calcifediol achieving serum 25OHD levels ≥ 30 ng/ml were associated with better COVID-19 outcomes.

·         Evidences point that maintaining Vitamin D in physiological ranges may help prevent the incidence of respiratory tract infections and thus supplementation of vitamin D could help in reducing the incidence of respiratory infections in population who are insufficient/ deficient

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HandsdottirSif, M. M. (2011). Vitamin D effects on lung immunity and respiratory . Vitamin and Hormones , 86: 217–237.

Jolliffe DA, G. C. (2013). Vitamin D in the prevention of acute respiratory infection: systematic review of clinical studies. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol, 356:321-9.

Oktaria V, T. R. (2021). Vitamin D deficiency and severity of pneumonia in Indonesian children. PLoS ONE , 16(7): e0254488.

Oristrell J, O. J. (2021 ). Vitamin D supplementation and COVID-19 risk: a population-based, cohort study. J Endocrinol Invest.

Saeed BQ, J. A.-H. (2021). Vitamin D Deficiency and Insufficiency Among University Students: Prevalence, Risk Factors, and the Association Between Vitamin D Deficiency and Episodes of Respiratory Tract Infections. Risk Manag Healthc Policy, 14:2733-2741.