The potential role of vitamin D for prevention and treatment of tuberculosis and infectious diseases.
Ann Ist Super Sanita. 2012;48(3):319-327.
Dini C, Bianchi A.
Direzione Generale per la Cooperazione allo Sviluppo, Ministero degli Affari Esteri, Rome, Italy. E-mail: catia.dini at esteri.it.
Introduction.Vitamin D deficiency (VDD) is a common condition among several populations in the world. VDD is associated with higher incidence of immune system disorders and faster progression of some infectious diseases. Vitamin D is known to be of physiological importance, it is considered an essential micronutrient for the bone health and plays a beneficial role in the prevention and/or treatment of a number of chronic diseases. Vitamin D has a complex action on the immune system.
Results. Evidence that vitamin D protects against tuberculosis has been supported by
- in vitro,
- epidemiological and
- some preliminary clinical studies.
Vitamin D has a potential effect on HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) and plays a crucial role in the defence against respiratory infections.
Conclusions. Vitamin D supplementation could be a low-cost, practical method to protect groups of people with high incidence of those diseases. Public health education should stress the need for adequate dietary intake of vitamin D in those vulnerable groups.
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