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Adv Nutr. 2011 May;2(3):244-53. doi: 10.3945/an.111.000398. Epub 2011 Apr 30.

Vitamin D and chronic lung disease: a review of molecular mechanisms and clinical studies.

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  • 1Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.


Vitamin D is classically recognized for its role in calcium homeostasis and skeletal metabolism. Over the last few decades, vitamin D deficiency has increased in prevalence in adults and children. Potential extraskeletal effects of vitamin D have been under investigation for several diseases. Several cross-sectional studies have associated lower vitamin D status with decreased lung function. This finding has prompted investigators to examine the association of vitamin D deficiency with several chronic lung diseases. One major focus has been the link between maternal vitamin D status and childhood asthma. Vitamin D deficiency has also been associated with increased risk of respiratory infection from influenza A and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Other chronic respiratory diseases associated with vitamin D deficiency include cystic fibrosis, interstitial lung disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. This review will examine the current clinical literature and potential mechanisms of vitamin D in various pulmonary diseases.

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