Vitamin D and Influenza

Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation, Marshfield, WI, USA.
Advances in Nutrition (Impact Factor: 4.71). 07/2012; 3(4):517-25. DOI: 10.3945/an.112.002162
Source: PubMed


Vitamin D has become increasingly recognized in the literature for its extra-skeletal roles, including an effect on inflammation and the immune response to infection. Our goal was to describe the role of vitamin D in the immune response and implications for the risk of influenza infection in humans. In this review, we first consider literature that provides molecular and genetic support to the idea that vitamin D is related to the adaptive and innate immune responses to influenza infection in vitro and in animal models. We then discuss observational studies and randomized controlled trials of vitamin D supplementation in humans. Finally, we consider some of the knowledge gaps surrounding vitamin D and immune response that must be filled.

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    • "The interpretation of the observed difference within the influenza group between influenza A and B is difficult. Because vitamin D skews the immune system towards a more tolerogenic state, some authors have hypothized that a high vitamin D serum levels might result in a lower antibody response to influenza infection and vaccination [10-12]. However, this was not confirmed in a recent trial on vaccinated children that were supplemented with 1000 IU of vitamin D [13]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Vitamin D deficiency has been implicated in risk of respiratory illness. We determined whether serum vitamin D levels are related to influenza vaccine response measured by hemagglutinin antibody inhibition (HAI) titer in adults aged ≥50 years old. The study was a prospective cohort study conducted over two influenza seasons (fall 2008-spring 2009 and fall 2009-spring 2010) in Marshfield, WI and Nashville, TN including 1103 community-dwelling adult volunteers ≥50 years of age. Pre-vaccination levels of serum vitamin D and HAI titer levels pre- and 21-28 days post-influenza vaccination were measured. Seroprotection was defined as HAI ≥40; seroconversion was defined as ≥4-fold rise in HAI titers from pre- to post-vaccination. More than 25% of participants were vitamin D deficient (<25ng/mL). Vitamin D measured as a continuous variable was not related to pre- or post-vaccination seroprotection or seroconversion for any vaccine strain in any year. Vitamin D deficiency was associated with a greater frequency of post-vaccination seroprotection for seasonal H1N1 in the first year of the study, but was not related to seroprotection or seroconversion for any other strain in either year. No consistent association was found between vitamin D levels or vitamin D deficiency and serologic response to influenza vaccination in older adults. Cell-mediated immune parameters should also be explored in order to further investigate possible relationships between micronutrient status and influenza vaccine response.
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    ABSTRACT: Vitamin D insufficiency is associated with broad-ranging human disease sequelae such as bone disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease, allergy, autoimmune disorders, diabetes, and infectious diseases. Disease risk and severity of a large proportion of the nonskeletal disorders heavily involve the cytotoxic cluster of differentiation (CD) 8 T lymphocyte (CTL) arm of cellular adaptive immunity. Considering the importance of vitamin D in CTL-dependent diseases, there is a critical need for systematic in-depth explorations into the role of vitamin D deficiency in generation and maintenance of CTL immunity during infections and vaccinations.
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