INFOLINK: A Nutrition Minute
Vitamin D is a hot topic. Does it have a role in wound healing?
Articles on vitamin D are everywhere, and new information is published almost weekly about the many roles vitamin D plays in the human body. New research has found that injury causes skin cells to require additional vitamin D. The genes controlled by vitamin D promote creation of an antimicrobial peptide called cathelicidin, which the immune system uses to fight infections. Skin wounds require vitamin D3 to protect against infection and begin the normal repair process. A vitamin D deficiency may compromise the body's innate immune system, which works to resist infection, making a patient more vulnerable to microbes. These responses are a previously unrecognized part of the human injury response. This innate immunity process also links adequate vitamin D levels to the reduction in influenza and tuberculosis risk. Rigorous studies on how the correction of a vitamin D deficiency may hasten wound healing still are needed. If you test vitamin D levels, remember the correct test for evaluating vitamin D (also known as calcidiol) status is 25(OH)D. It is necessary to test (1,25[OH]2D), or calcitriol, only if the patient has advanced kidney disease, a high calcium level, or certain diseases that induce a vitamin D hypersensitivity.
Nancy Collins, PhD, RD, LD/N, FAPWCA
Schauber J, Dorschner RA, Coda AB, et al. Injury enhances TLR2 function and antimicrobial peptide expression through a vitamin D - dependent mechanism. J Clin Invest. 2007;117:803-11.