The Role of Vitamin D in COVID-19 and the Impact of Pandemic Restrictions on Vitamin D Blood Content

Agata Tomaszewska, Agnieszka Rustecka, Agnieszka Lipińska-Opałka, Rafal P. Piprek, Małgorzata Kloc, Bolesław Kalicki, Jacek Z. Kubiak

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Vitamin D is a hormone regulating the immune system and playing a pivotal role in responses to microbial infections. It regulates inflammatory processes by influencing the transcription of immune-response genes in macrophages, T cells, and dendritic cells. The proven role of vitamin D in many infectious diseases of the respiratory tract indicated that vitamin D should also play a role in SARS-CoV-2 infection. Vitamin D inhibits cytokine storm by switching the pro-inflammatory Th1 and Th17 to the anti-inflammatory Th2 and Treg response. Vitamin D is therefore expected to play a role in preventing, relieving symptoms, or treating SARS-CoV-2 infection symptoms, including severe pneumonia. There are several possible mechanisms by which vitamin D may reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection, such as induction of the transcription of cathelicidin and defensin. Also a nongenomic antiviral action of vitamin D and lumisterol, the molecule closely related to vitamin D, was reported. Despite this enormous progress, currently, there is still insufficient scientific evidence to support the claim that vitamin D supplementation may help treat COVID-19 infection. The pandemic restrictions were also shown to impact vitamin D uptake by limiting exposure to sunlight.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number836738
JournalFrontiers in Pharmacology
StatePublished - Feb 21 2022


  • COVID-19
  • Cytokine storm
  • SARS-CoV2
  • Vitamin D
  • pandemic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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