People with irritable bowel syndrome could alleviate their symptoms by taking vitamin D supplements. This is the conclusion of a new study recently published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a condition that affects the large intestine. Symptoms
It is estimated that IBS affects around
Precisely what causes IBS remains a mystery, though certain foods and stressful life events are some known triggers for the condition.
“IBS is a poorly understood condition which impacts severely on the quality of life of sufferers,” says Dr. Bernard Corfe, of the Department of Oncology and Metabolism at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom, and the lead author of the
Previous research has indicated that people with the condition have low levels of vitamin D, which suggests that this vitamin could play a role in IBS.
Vitamin D deficiency is a
Studies have also linked low vitamin D to other bone disorders, such as osteoporosis, as well as to
To find out more about the link between vitamin D and IBS, Dr. Corfe and his team conducted an
According to the researchers, the evidence to date indicates that vitamin D deficiency is common among people with IBS, and this is the case across ethnicities.
Furthermore, studies show that there is an inverse link between vitamin D levels and the severity of IBS symptoms, the team reports.
Importantly, Dr. Corfe and colleagues say there is also evidence to suggest that vitamin D supplementation could improve the symptoms of IBS.
“The study provides an insight into the condition and, importantly, a new way to try to manage it […] It is evident from the findings that all people with IBS should have their vitamin D levels tested and a large majority of them would benefit from supplements.”
Dr. Bernard Corfe
That said, the researchers stress that larger studies are needed before vitamin D supplementation can be widely recommended for people with IBS.