Latest researches indicate
the association of low levels of serum vitamin D with impaired pulmonary
function and increased incidence of inflammatory, infectious or neoplastic
Christian Herr and colleagues reviewed the knowledge on the classical and
newly discovered functions of Vitamin D and published the report titled 'The
Role of Vitamin D in Pulmonary Disease' in the journal Respiratory Research.
They found that:
• Patients with
chronic lung diseases such as asthma, cystic fibrosis, chronic obstructive
lung disease and interstitial pneumonia are at a higher risk for vitamin D deficiency. However, the
exact mechanisms underlying the data are unknown. Vitamin D appears
to impact the function of inflammatory and structural cells. Several
studies indicate that vitamin D possesses a range of anti-inflammatory
• Researches also state
that various cytokines, cellular elements, oxidative stress and
protease/antiprotease levels appear to affect lung fibroproliferation,
remodelling and function. This may be influenced by vitamin D levels.
Low bone density in the thoracic skeleton affects
respiratory muscle movements in breathing. Thus, the skeleton providing a weak
support to the respiratory muscles could affect lung function. Another
condition called Kyphosis (curvature of the upper back), caused by osteoporosis
has been shown to reduce rib cage mobility and inspiratory muscle function.
The above findings suggest that respiratory
therapists should test any patient with impaired lung function for circulating
levels of calcidiol which is further converted to calcitriol. Various other clinical
trials are also in process to test the potential of VitD3 correction therapies
for asthma, COPD and cystic fibrosis.
concluded 'Vitamin D has a number of activities in addition to its effect on
calcium and bone homeostasis and influences process such as immune regulation,
host defense, inflammation, or cell proliferation. Vitamin D deficiency is
potentially involved in a number of lung disease. Several hurdles must be
overcome to validate the benefit of VitaminD-based therapies:
mechanisms are not clear and the involved molecular pathways are likely
difficult to identify because VitD impacts on a variety of biological processes
data from interventional studies are missing for many disease entities.
3) Since VitD
has been used for many years, the pharmaceutical industry might hesitate in
starting a development program. Nevertheless, the data available indicate that
VitD could be beneficial for the prevention or therapy of important lung
1, Gilbert CR,
& Smith CM.
"Vitamin D deficiency and chronic lung disease"Can Respir J.
2009 May-Jun;16(3):75 -80.
2, Herr C et al. "The Role of Vitamin D
in Pulmonary Disease" Respiratory Research. 2011;12.
2011 BioMed Central, Ltd
3, Picher M. Ph.D "How Does Vitamin D Help You Breathe