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How vitamin D might help Crohn's disease

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Small study shows vitamin D lowers inflammation associated with Crohn's disease

Results of a small pilot study suggest vitamin D might help keep Crohn's disease in remission and improve quality of life for people diagnosed with the inflammatory bowel disease.


The finding that is published in the United European Gastroenterology Journal included just 27 participants.
However, it is the first report that shows how vitamin D works to help control Crohn's disease by improving gut integrity and reducing inflammation.

The study

Researchers conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled study that included 27 participants with Crohn's disease that was in remission.

Participants received either placebo or 2,000 IU/day of vitamin D over a period of three months. Researchers looked at inflammatory biomarkers, changes in intestinal permeability and antimicrobial peptide concentrations between the two study groups.

The vitamin D group maintained gut permeability that is associated with active inflammation.

Supplementation with vitamin D was also associated with lower inflammation measured by C-reactive protein (CRP) and antimicrobial peptide levels. Study participants given vitamin D reported better quality of life.

"This is an exciting development in the treatment of Crohn’s disease and we welcome anything new that could potentially help patients with this debilitating condition” concluded Dr. Charles Murray, an inflammatory bowel disease expert from the Royal Free Hospital in London, United Kingdom."

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No one knows what causes Crohn's disease. Some theorize it may be from the MAPS bacteria or other environmental triggers that cause an autoimmune response. Genetics are also thought to play a role in the inflammatory bowel disease.

Authors for the current study say more research is needed to confirm whether vitamin D can help keep Crohn's disease in remission.


United European Gastroenterology Journal J
June 2015 vol. 3 no. 3 294-302
doi: 10.1177/2050640615572176

Increased gut permeability in Crohn’s disease: is TNF the link?
Gut. 2004 Dec; 53(12): 1724–1725.
doi: 10.1136/gut.2004.047092

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
author: Project Manhattan


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