Annali dell'Istituto Superiore di Sanità
Print version ISSN 0021-2571
DINI, Catia and BIANCHI, Antonio. The potential role of vitamin D for prevention and treatment of tuberculosis and infectious diseases. Ann. Ist. Super. Sanità [online]. 2012, vol.48, n.3, pp. 319-327. ISSN 0021-2571. http://dx.doi.org/10.4415/ANN_12_03_13.
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.
Keywords : VDD; Vitamin D deficiency; tuberculosis; HIV; respiratory infections.