Vitamin D : Immunomodulatory Action in Respiratory Infections

  • The patient health benefits of targeted vitamin D measurement and supplementation has been strongly suggested in previous studies, which lays down the basis for its potential in treating COVID 19 infection. This has been supported by previous scientific studies which determine the impact of Vitamin D replacement therapy in other lung viral infection and even in mechanically ventilated adult intensive care unit (ICU) patients. (Grant WB, 2020) (Han JE, 2016)

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  • In special consideration to COVID 19, a person’s response to any viral disease (including diseases such as influenza) is influenced by intensity and quality of the host’s immune/inflammatory status. To infer that the clinical severity and mortality risk posed to the patient owing to infection is actually determined by their own immune status and not by viral pathogen itself. (Kobasa D, 2004)
  • Molecular mechanism through which Vitamin D exerts its immunomodulatory effect and reduces risk of infection, downregulating the immune/inflammatory reaction can be justified by the vitamin D receptors expression in cells which fight infection in our body like lymphocytes. (Panfili FM, 2020)
  • In line with the above proposed effects of vitamin D, a pilot RCT published in October 2020, demonstrated that administration of a high dose of vitamin D, significantly reduced the need for ICU treatment of patients requiring hospitalisation due to proven COVID-19. (Entrenas Castillo M, 2020)
  • To conclude experience and evidence from previous viral infections show benefit when supplemented with Vitamin D during respiratory infections owing to its immunomodulatory action; a strong immune system confers stronger response in fighting such infections.

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  1. Entrenas Castillo M, E. C. (2020). Effect of calcifediol treatment and best available therapy versus best available therapy on intensive care unit admission and mortality among patients hospitalized for COVID-19: A pilot randomized clinical study. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol, 203:105751.

  2. Grant WB, L. H. (2020). Evidence that vitaminD supplementation could reduce risk of influenza and COVID-19 infections and deaths. Nutrients , 12:988.

  3. Han JE, J. J. (2016). High dose vitamin D administration in ventilated intensive care unit patients: a pilot double blind randomized controlled trial. J Clin Transl Endocrinol, 4:59–65.

  4. Kobasa D, T. A. (2004). Enhanced virulence of influenza A viruses with the haemagglutinin of the 1918 pandemic virus. Nature , 431:703–7.

  5. Panfili FM, R. M. (2020). Possible role of vitamin D in Covid-19 infection in pediatric population. J Endocrinol Invest, 1-9.

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