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IMMUNOMODULATORY ROLE OF VITAMIN D: CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS IN INFECTIONS AND AUTOIMMUNE DISORDERS

Farhan Khashim Alswailmi, , Haleema Nawaz

Abstract: Vitamin D exerts its well-known effects on bone health and calcium-phosphate homeostasis primarily through the vitamin D receptor signaling pathway. Vitamin D also has several extra-skeletal actions and its deficiency is not only implicated in musculoskeletal disorders, but also cardiovascular disorders, diabetes, neurodegenerative conditions and cancers. There is a growing body of research highlighting the link of vitamin D deficiency and alterations in vitamin D signaling with certain infections and autoimmune disorders although the evidence is inconsistent and inconclusive. Vitamin D has been suggested to play a fundamental role in curbing infections and mitigating autoimmune disease processes. The present review was undertaken to explore the promise of vitamin D as a protective agent and a clinically useful therapeutic adjunct against infections and autoimmune diseases and identify knowledge gaps and limitations of the available data for informing future work. An exhaustive search was conducted in established databases including Google Scholar, PubMed, Science Direct and Springer for articles published on vitamin D, immunity, infection and autoimmune disorders. All relevant articles published in the English language between the year 200 and 2020 were retrieved for writing the review. Although a considerable body of evidence highlighting the potential clinical benefits of vitamin D against the development of various autoimmune conditions and for the prevention of infections has emerged over the last decade, the findings are limited by the lack of appropriately designed randomized controlled trials which are needed to formulate precise clinical recommendations.
Keywords: vitamin / infections and autoimmune / infection and autoimmune disorders / diabetes / conditions / clinical

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