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Vitamin D for Intestinal

Fortitude Crohn's Disease (CD) is an intestinal condition caused by inflammation that can lead to serious damage of the gastrointestinal (GI) system. It can cause changes in the gut barrier function and increased intestinal permeability (leaky gut). People with CD may experience pain, diarrhea, weight loss, and fatigue. If it spreads to the deeper layers of the bowel tissue, it can even be life-threatening.

A small, double-blind, placebo-controlled study looked at the effect of vitamin D supplementation for people with CD that were in remission. The researchers compared intestinal permeability and inflammatory markers at baseline and again after three months of treatment. Participants did not alter their current medical treatment throughout the study.

Over the course of the study, the patients that took 2,000 IU vitamin D daily showed an increase in vitamin D in their blood levels, and those that took placebo showed a decrease in D levels. The group that took vitamin D supplements and increased their levels the most (over 75 nmol/L) by the end of the study, showed a significant decrease in inflammatory marker levels. In those patients with vitamin D levels below 75 nmol/L, inflammatory markers had increased significantly. The group taking vitamin D maintained the same intestinal permeability without changing, but the placebo group worsened significantly.

The researchers concluded, "This is the first reporting of effects of vitamin D supplementation on intestinal permeability in a CD cohort. 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."

Over the years, other studies have reported that vitamin D can help maintain remission in those with CD, and in some studies it was even shown to help improve symptoms. This current study further supported a positive association between vitamin D and reduced gastrointestinal inflammation.

Vitamin D may also be helpful in other cases of GI inflammation. It's a common condition that occurs in various degrees in people without a Crohn's Disease diagnosis. Symptoms include general GI discomfort and leaky gut symptoms.

This particular study focused on CD, but vitamin D may also prove to be beneficial for people with general intestinal inflammation.

United European Gastroenterology Journal, 2015. V3(3) 294-302.

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