Vitamin D could be effective in treating the painful symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome, according to a study published in The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Bernard M. Corfe, MD, of the molecular gastroenterology research group and the academic unit of surgical oncology, in the department of oncology and metabolism at the University of Sheffield in the U.K., and colleagues organized and contextualized data from previous studies and found a correlation between vitamin D deficiency and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
“This study provides an insight into the condition and, importantly, a new way to manage it,” Corfe said in a press release.
The investigators analyzed four observational studies and three randomized controlled trials that all indicated a link between vitamin D and IBS.
In addition to finding a prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in patients with IBS, they found vitamin D supplements could help to ease painful IBS symptoms like bloating, diarrhea and constipation, according to the press release.
In one observational study, researchers found that one woman’s IBS symptoms significantly improved after receiving a high-dose, daily supplement of vitamin D.
Intervention studies based in the U.K. and Iran all indicated a link between vitamin D and IBS.
Despite the limited evidence provided by the analyzed studies, Corfe and colleagues feel that there is enough evidence to incorporate vitamin D assessment into the routine treatment of IBS. They also noted a need for further study in the area.
“It is evident from the findings that all people with IBS should have their vitamin D levels tested.” Corfe said in the press release. “A large majority of them would benefit from supplements.” – by Alex Young
Disclosures: The study was funded, in part, by BetterYou Ltd, which markets vitamin D supplements.