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Low Vitamin D Levels May Play a Role in IBS

A study published in Oman Medical Journal found an association between a vitamin D deficiency and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The study included a group of 60 people with IBS and a group of 100 people without IBS. The age and gender makeup of the two groups was designed to be similar; most of the participants in both groups were females (79%) between the ages of 37 and 47. Over the course of three months, researchers collected and analyzed blood samples from the participants to determine their vitamin D status. They found that:

  • A much higher percentage of people with IBS (82%) were vitamin D deficient compared with those without IBS (31%).
  • Vitamin D levels in people with IBS were lower (9–33 nmol/L) than those found in people without IBS (15–47 nmol/L).

While this study found low vitamin D levels were associated with IBS, more research is needed to understand the nature of this relationship and to determine if supplementing with vitamin D can reduce symptoms in people with IBS. Whether or not you have IBS, vitamin D is essential for maintaining good health. Since many of us don’t get the sunlight we need to make enough vitamin D, we may need to rely on foods and supplements to maintain a healthy vitamin D status. Foods with vitamin D include mushrooms, fatty fish such as salmon, and fortified cereals, milk, and non-dairy beverages. If you have health problems, be sure to talk with your healthcare practitioner before adding a vitamin D supplement to your health regimen.

Source: Oman Medical Journal

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