Bacterial Infections Vitamin D and Bone
1Department of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Veterinary Faculty, School of Health Sciences, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece.
Bacteria are present in our body, but also enter and invade tissues and cells where they multiply rapidly. The host primarily attacks bacteria with an innate immune response producing anti-microbial compounds and cytokines that play an important role in the pathogenesis of infections.
Vitamin D, which induces many biological effects, including calcium homeostasis and important functions in bone health, intervenes with beneficial effect in the innate and acquired immune system. In fact, rodents that lack vitamin D are more prone to bacterial infections. But the role of this vitamin in infections is unclear. Vitamin D has an inhibitory effect on both inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, shifting the balance from pro-inflammatory to anti-inflammatory process. Vitamin D also has a positive effect on immune cells including macrophages. The increase in vitamin D leads to an increase in effective calcium in preventing bacterial infections and promoting bone marrow stem cell osteogenesis. These studies show that vitamin D and calcium prevent and fight bacterial infections.
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