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News

Possible therapeutic role of vitamin D in IBD

A study in the latest issue of the Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics investigates the association between vitamin D and IBD.

News image

Vitamin D is traditionally associated with bone metabolism. The immunological effects of vitamin D have increasingly come into focus.

Drs Mouli and Ananthakrishnan from Massachussetts, USA reviewed the evidence supporting a role of vitamin D in inflammatory bowel diseases.

The research team performed a comprehensive search on PubMed using the terms ‘crohn's disease’ ‘ulcerative colitis’ and ‘vitamin D’.

Vitamin D deficiency is common in patients with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) including those with recently diagnosed disease.

Evidence supports immunological role of vitamin D in IBD.

Vitamin D supplementation may be associated with reduced frequency of relapses
Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics

In animal models, deficiency of vitamin D increases susceptibility to dextran sodium sulphate colitis, while 1,25(OH)2D3 ameliorates such colitis.

The team identified 1 prospective cohort study that found low predicted vitamin D levels is associated with an increased risk of Crohn's disease (CD).

Limited data also suggest an association between low vitamin D levels and increased disease activity, particularly in CD.

In a large cohort, the researchers found that vitamin D deficiency was associated with increased risk of surgery in CD, and hospitalizations in both CD and UC.

A single randomized controlled trial demonstrated that vitamin D supplementation may be associated with reduced frequency of relapses in patients with CD compared with placebo.

Dr Ananthakrishnan's team concludes, "There is growing epidemiological evidence to suggest a role for vitamin D deficiency in the development of IBD and also its influence on disease severity."

"The possible therapeutic role of vitamin D in patients with IBD merits continued investigation."

Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2014: 39(2): 125–136
20 December 2013

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