New research associates vitamin D deficiency with IBS
Vitamin D deficiencies are a cause for concern in any season, but with limited sunlight in the winter, it's especially important to pay attention to good dietary sources of the vitamin and how insufficient levels can affect you. According to new research published in BMJ Open Gastroenterology, vitamin D deficiencies could be linked to the development of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a condition that affects up to 23 percent of the global population.
Currently, very little is known of a singular cause for IBS, and a cure often feels out of reach. A team of scientists, led by Dr. Bernard Corfe from the University of Sheffield's Molecular Gastroenterology Research Group, sought to improve the chances of a cure by exploring the connection between vitamin D and IBS symptoms.
By measuring the severity of symptoms and their impact on the patient's quality of life and comparing the data with vitamin D levels, the researchers were able to discern a significant connection between them. They found that out of the 51 patients in the study, 82 percent of them had insufficient vitamin D levels, and that insufficiency affected their perceived quality of life.
Medical News Today (MNT) reported that the data provide "a potential new insight into the condition and, importantly, a new way to try to manage it," according to Corfe. Corfe also explained that because IBS is so poorly understood, clinicians and patients must work together to find a treatment that works to manage it, which could take years without any guarantee of success. That's why finding out what causes it is so key to curing it.
The team explored vitamin D as one of its researchers, Vicky Grant, has lived with IBS for over 30 years and found that taking a high daily dose of vitamin D3 supplementation for the past five years has significantly improved her symptoms, according to MNT. To further explore this correlation, the researchers plan to conduct a more expansive clinical trial. They suggest testing vitamin D levels and providing patients with vitamin D supplementation that could help IBS.
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