Vitamin D supplements might impact the intestinal barrier dysfunction associated with Crohn’s disease, and could have a role in the treatment of the condition associated with abdominal pain, diarrhea and fatigue, new research has found. (Also Read: Crohn’s Disease: 4 Foods To Fight Flare-Ups)
Crohn’s disease (CD) is a lifelong chronic relapsing and remitting gastrointestinal condition, characterized by inflammation, which can involve any portion of the gastrointestinal tract. The exact causes are unknown, however, immune, genetic and environmental factors are thought to be involved.
“Whilst the data requires further confirmation, it broadly supports evidence from previous experimental studies that suggest a role for vitamin D in maintaining intestinal barrier integrity,” said the study filed by Tara Raftery from St James’s Hospital, Dublin, Ireland.
In this research, published in the United European Gastroenterology Journal, the authors aimed to determine changes in gut barrier function as well as disease markers in CD, in response to vitamin D supplementation. [Also Read: 4 Reasons To Optimize Your Vitamin D Levels (& How You Can Do It)]
The authors assigned 27 CD patients in remission to 2,000 international unit (IU)/day vitamin D supplementation or a placebo, for three months. They found that patients treated with the supplementation were more likely to maintain their intestinal permeability, whereas this deteriorated in the placebo group.
Increased intestinal permeability is considered a measure of gut leakiness, which is shown to predict and precede clinical relapse in CD. In addition, patients with the highest blood levels of vitamin D had signs of reduced inflammation, and these patients also reported better quality of life.
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