Vitamin D supplements found to ease symptoms of IBS

Researchers from the University of Sheffield have uncovered a high occurrence of vitamin D deficiency among Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) patients, suggesting that vitamin D may play a role in managing the condition.

  • As is, inadequate amounts of vitamin D have been linked to the increased risk of colorectal cancer and inflammatory bowel disease.
  • IBS is a chronic disorder of the large intestine, the symptoms of which include abdominal pain, bloating, and diarrhea.
  • Currently, there are seven studies that have attempted to connect low vitamin D levels with IBS: three were randomized controlled trials and four were observational studies.
  • In all of the observational studies, a significant number of the population struggling with IBS was found to be deficient in vitamin D.
  • In two of the three randomized controlled trials, supplementing with vitamin D was found to improve the severity of IBS symptoms and the patients’ quality of life.
  • The researchers noted that an inverse correlation between vitamin D and IBS may show that vitamin D can mitigate the symptoms of the condition.
  • However, the randomized controlled trials have demonstrated this effect among a small number of IBS patients. Thus, the researchers proposed carrying out a larger-scale study to properly assess the medicinal applications of vitamin D.

Thus, the researchers concluded that vitamin D supplements could help patients manage the symptoms of IBS, many of which the investigative team noted as being sources of embarrassment for patients.

Claire E. Williams, Elizabeth A. Williams, Bernard M. Corfe. “VITAMIN D STATUS IN IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME AND THE IMPACT OF SUPPLEMENTATION ON SYMPTOMS: WHAT DO WE KNOW AND WHAT DO WE NEED TO KNOW?” European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 25 Jan 2018.


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