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Vitamin D, innate immunity and upper respiratory tract infection - Source: Journal of Laryngology and Otology, Jan 2010

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By J Bartley • www.ProHealth.com • January 15, 2010


Introduction: At the turn of the twentieth century, ultraviolet light was successfully used to treat tuberculosis of the skin. Upper respiratory tract infections had been inversely associated with sun exposure. [More sun, fewer infections.]

During the last decade, basic scientific research demonstrated that vitamin D has an important anti-infective role.

Method: Review of the relevant literature on the influence of vitamin D on innate immunity and respiratory tract infection.

Results: Vitamin D is involved in the production of defensins and cathelicidin - antimicrobial peptides that provide a natural defense against potential microbiological pathogens.

Vitamin D supplementation increases cathelicidin production.

Low vitamin D levels are associated with an increased incidence of upper respiratory tract infections.

Conclusions: Vitamin D appears to play an important role in the regulation of innate immunity in the upper respiratory tract. Optimal vitamin D levels and appropriate dosing schedules have yet to be determined.

Source: Journal of Laryngology and Otology, Jan 2010 ;13:1-5. PMID: 20067648, by Bartley J. Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Counties-Manukau District Health Board, Auckland, New Zealand.





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