Vitamin D supplementation could ease IBS symptoms

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Reprinted with the kind permission of Life Extension.

January 26 2018. A review published on January 25, 2018 in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition adds evidence to a beneficial effect for vitamin D against unpleasant symptoms and diminished quality of life experienced by individuals with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a chronic, relapsing, functional bowel disorder whose cause is unknown. The syndrome is characterized by bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea and constipation. Stress and dietary factors have been observed to worsen symptoms.

“IBS is a poorly understood condition which impacts severely on the quality of life of sufferers,” noted lead researcher Dr Bernard Corfe of the University of Sheffield’s Department of Oncology and Metabolism. “There is no single known cause and likewise no single known cure.”

In their review, Dr Corfe and his associates note that four observational studies and three randomized controlled trials have examined the effects of vitamin D in irritable bowel syndrome. All observational studies uncovered vitamin D deficiency in a substantial proportion of people with IBS. Two of the intervention studies found improvement in IBS symptom severity and quality of life in association with vitamin D supplementation. The findings suggest that low vitamin D is common in IBS patients and that vitamin D supplementation could help improve symptoms.

“The study provides an insight into the condition and, importantly, a new way to try to manage it,” Dr Corfe stated. “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.”

—D Dye

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