Vitamin D3, Cathelicidins, and Infection

 

Vitamin D3 has also been shown to play an important role in host defense against pathogens by promoting the production of the human antimicrobial peptides, cathelicidins (LL-37).

 

These cathelicidins have been found to have broad spectrum antimicrobial activity, showing activity against the following microbes, among others:


A couple of other important and apparently previously unrecognized functions of of the cathelicidins (LL-37) upregulated by Vitamin D3 are its effects on bacterial biofilm formation and eradication and its effects on secondary necrosisi of neutrophils:


Studies on Vitamin D3 and cathelicidins in septicemia suggest that they may also play an important role in protection against septicemia.   Recent articles attribute their  "primary effect in reducing the risk of septicemia to other effects of cathelicidins, including lower endotoxini and proinflammatory cytokinei<i< tumor necrosisi< factor α levels in plasma, as well as reduced endotoxic shock and death":

 


While cathelicidins (LL-37) have been shown to have little or no direct effect against C. pnuemoniae, Vitamin D3 has been shown to disrupt the mechanism that the intracellulari<i< forms of C. pneumoniae use to prevent normal celluar apoptosisi<, and it is believed that Vitamin D3 is active against the intracellular forms of C. pneumoniae through this mechanism:

 

The resulting die-off effects from Vitamin D3 can be quite large, and symptoms of secondary pophryia can also be dramatically increased. Vitamin D3 levels should therefore be increased very slowly when treating a C. pneumoniae infection!