Vitamin D May Be a Potential Treatment for Crohn's Disease

JUNE 12, 2015
Amy Jacob
Daily vitamin D has been found to potentially aid in Crohn’s disease (CD) treatment, according to research published in the journal United European Gastroenterology.
Led by Maria O'Sullivan and Tara Raftery, Department of Clinical Medicine, Trinity Centre for Health Sciences, St. James's Hospital, Dublin, Ireland, the research assessed changes in gut barrier function and disease markers in CD, in response to vitamin D supplementation.
Sullivan and her colleagues randomly assigned 27 CD patients in remission to 2,000 IU/day vitamin D supplementation or placebo for a 3-month period.
Analysis of the data revealed that the patients who received vitamin D supplementation were “more likely to maintain their intestinal permeability.” The placebo group did not exhibit such favorable results.
Additionally, the data clearly showed that the patients with the highest blood levels of vitamin D demonstrated reduced inflammation as well as better quality of life.
There is emerging data that vitamin D supplementation may prolong remission in CD; however, the clinical efficacy and underlying mechanisms remain unclear.
The researchers concluded, "This is the first reporting of effects of vitamin D supplementation on intestinal permeability and antimicrobial peptide measures 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."
Although these study results are promising, especially potential for vitamin D supplementation to prolong remission in CD, the research team noted further randomized trials on a larger scale are necessary before this translates to an effective treatment for CD.

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