Sepsis and septicemiaHow does vitamin D work?

Vitamin D may reduce the risk of sepsis by enhancing the body’s innate immune system

Vitamin D fights bacterial and viral infections through induction of cathelicidin1 2 and defensins3

Cathelicidin and related compounds have been shown to combat bacterial infections and their toxic products in animal models4 5.  Cathelicidins can be considered antisepsis molecules6

Page last edited: 03 May 2011


  1. Liu, P. T. Stenger, S. Li, H. Wenzel, L. Tan, B. H. Krutzik, S. R. Ochoa, M. T. Schauber, J. Wu, K. Meinken, C. Kamen, D. L. Wagner, M. Bals, R. Steinmeyer, A. Zugel, U. Gallo, R. L. Eisenberg, D. Hewison, M. Hollis, B. W. Adams, J. S. Bloom, B. R. Modlin, R. L. Toll-like receptor triggering of a vitamin D-mediated human antimicrobial response. Science. 2006 Mar 24; 311 (5768): 1770-3.
  2. Liu, P. T. Stenger, S. Tang, D. H. Modlin, R. L. Cutting edge: vitamin D-mediated human antimicrobial activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis is dependent on the induction of cathelicidin. J Immunol. 2007 Aug 15; 179 (4): 2060-3.
  3. Liu, P. T. Schenk, M. Walker, V. P. Dempsey, P. W. Kanchanapoomi, M. Wheelwright, M. Vazirnia, A. Zhang, X. Steinmeyer, A. Zugel, U. Hollis, B. W. Cheng, G. Modlin, R. L. Convergence of IL-1beta and VDR activation pathways in human TLR2/1-induced antimicrobial responses. PLoS One. 2009; 4 (6): e5810.
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  5. Giacometti, A. Cirioni, O. Ghiselli, R. Bergnach, C. Orlando, F. D'Amato, G. Mocchegiani, F. Silvestri, C. Del Prete, M. S. Skerlavaj, B. Saba, V. Zanetti, M. Scalise, G. The antimicrobial peptide BMAP-28 reduces lethality in mouse models of staphylococcal sepsis. Crit Care Med. 2004 Dec; 32 (12): 2485-90.
  6. Mookherjee, N. Rehaume, L. M. Hancock, R. E. Cathelicidins and functional analogues as antisepsis molecules. Expert Opin Ther Targets. 2007 Aug; 11 (8): 993-1004.