Vitamin D may be more important than known for ulcerative colitis

Feb 20 2017 - 7:20pm
Low vitamin D linked to colitis relapse

A new study suggests vitamin D may be more important than known for preventing ulcerative colitis flare-ups.

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Ulcerative colitis (UC) is an inflammatory bowel disease characterized by inflammation of the large intestine that can frequently relapse after being under control for a period of time.

Vitamin D status important for preventing colitis relapse

A new study led by researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) has found low vitamin D levels can contribute to ulcerative collitis relapse, which might make it important for your doctor to check your blood levels.

Past studies have shown the vitamin D is linked to a higher risk of Chron's disease and ulcerative colitis flares.

"However, it has been unclear if the flare-up was lowering vitamin D levels, or if low vitamin D levels were causing the flare-up. We thought that if we looked at vitamin D levels when the disease was inactive and then followed patients moving forward, the impact of baseline vitamin D levels on future events may be clearer," said senior study author Alan Moss, MD, a gastroenterologist at the Digestive Disease Center at BIDMC and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

The study found patients were less likely to have a flare-up of ulcerative colitis when they were in remission when vitamin D levels were highest, compared to people whose level was lowest.

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John Gubatan, MD, a physician at BIDMC and first author of the study said the finding suggests higher levels of vitamin D might prevent ulcerative colitis relapse.

He adds levels that prevented a flare-up were within 35ng/ml.

The researchers are also exploring whether vitamin D could have a protective effect for treatment of ulcerative colitis by influencing healthy bacteria that contribute to colon health and help prevent inflammation.

"Serum levels of vitamin D of 35 ng/mL or less during periods of clinical remission increase the risk of UC relapse. Clinical trials to obtain vitamin D levels higher than this threshold should be considered."

The authors concluded: If your vitamin D level is low you may want to consider talking to your doctor about adding the supplement for ulcerative colitis treatment and for preventing relapses.

Reference:

John Gubatan, Shuji Mitsuhashi, Talia Zenlea, Laura Rosenberg, Simon Robson, Alan C. Moss. Low Serum Vitamin D During Remission Increases Risk of Clinical Relapse in Patients With Ulcerative Colitis. Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 2017; 15 (2): 240 DOI: 10.1016/j.cgh.2016.05.035

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Comments

ANYONE with UC who does not have blood levels at, or above 50 ng/ml, is suffering unnecessarily. Just ask someone who has supplemented/sunned to raise levels. MIRACULOUS improvement in symptoms. End of debate.