Table 1

Vitamin D and lung disease

DiseaseEpidemiologyIn vitro researchClinical research
  • ↓levels associate with severity

  • ↑maternal concentrations associate with childhood atopy

1,25-OHD alters Th1–Th2 balanceSupplementation trial under way
  • ↓levels associate with ↓FEV1

  • ↓levels in half of patients with COPD

1,25-OHD ↑clearance of Pseudomonas and Staphyloccus sppSupplementation trial under way
TB↓levels in patients with TB1,25-OHD ↑clearance of mycobacteria
  • 1 RCT of supplementation: no benefit

  • Further trials under way

Lung cancer
  • ↓levels associate with cancer incidence

  • ↑levels associate with better response to treatment

25-OHD supplements ↓metastasis in murine modelsSupplementation trials under way in a range of malignancies
  • The table summarises some of the existing evidence supporting a role for vitamin D in lung disease. Original references for these studies can be found in recent editorials/reviews,1–3 being omitted here in order to simplify the text in the table.

  • COPD, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; FEV1, forced expiratory volume in 1 s; 25-OHD, 25-hydroxyvitamin D; 1,25-OHD, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D; RCT, randomised controlled trial; TB, tuberculosis; Th, T helper.