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Clin Exp Immunol. 2009 Oct;158(1):20-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2249.2009.04001.x.

Vitamin D and respiratory health.

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  • 1Institute of Food Research, Norwich Research Park, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK.


Vitamin D is now known to be of physiological importance outside of bone health and calcium homeostasis, and there is mounting evidence that it plays a beneficial role in the prevention and/or treatment of a wide range of diseases. In this brief review the known effects of vitamin D on immune function are described in relation to respiratory health. Vitamin D appears capable of inhibiting pulmonary inflammatory responses while enhancing innate defence mechanisms against respiratory pathogens. Population-based studies showing an association between circulating vitamin D levels and lung function provide strong justification for randomized controlled clinical trials of vitamin D supplementation in patients with respiratory diseases to assess both efficacy and optimal dosage.

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