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This 1 Simple Vitamin Could Stop Crohn’s Disease

By on June 16, 2015
For people with Crohn’s disease (CD), a type of inflammatory bowel disease, the chronic pain and fatigue it causes can severely reduce a person’s quality of life.

Worse yet, researchers don’t know how to cure it–or how to stop it from coming back.

New findings from St James’s Hospital in Dublin, Ireland may have found one way to prolong its remission, however.

According to new research published in the United European Gastroenterology Journal, vitamin D supplements helped Crohn’s disease patients delay how long the disease came back after treatment, even reducing inflammation associated with the disease. Those on placebo relapsed more quickly, however.

For researchers, these findings finally shed light on how to tackle the disease.

“This is the first reporting of effects of vitamin D supplementation on intestinal permeability and antimicrobial peptide measures in a CD cohort,” write researchers in the online version of the United European Gastroenterology Journal. “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.”

The Research

Crohn’s disease is hard to treat, and even harder to prevent from coming back–but now researchers may have found a way to delay this.

So how did they find it?

Recruiting 27 patients with Crohn’s disease, researchers split them randomly into two groups to receive one of the following: 200 international units of vitamin D or a placebo. The participants continued to take this for 3 months as researchers measured certain biomarkers indicative of a Crohn’s disease flare-up.

After the test period, researchers compared the results of both groups.

As it turned out, those who took vitamin D had improved intestinal permeability, an indicator that they were less likely to relapse as quickly. The placebo group, on the other hand, had worsened intestinal permeability.

In addition, it also reduced inflammation, something that also affects Crohn’s disease patients.

“Short-term treatment with 2000?IU/day vitD significantly increased 25(OH)D levels in CD patients in remission and it was associated with increased LL-37 concentrations and maintenance of IP [intestional permability],” write researchers. “Achieving 25(OH)D?=?75?nmol/l was accompanied by higher circulating LL-37, higher QoL [quality of life] scores and reduced CRP [C-reactive protein].”

While researchers stress more trials are needed to determine how vitamin D helps Crohn’s disease patients, they do say the research is promising.

What This Means For You

Crohn’s disease is a difficult and often painful battle–but now there may be a way to prolong it from coming back. To delay this relapse, talk to your doctor about adding vitamin D as a treatment option. Though it won’t cure the disease, it can help lessen the pain it may cause–something many Crohn’s patients need.

Readers: Do you have Crohn’s disease or know someone who has it?

Sources:
Vitamin D Shows Promise for Treating Crohn’s DiseaseScienceDaily.com
Effects of Vitamin D Supplementation on Intestinal Permeability, Cathelicidin and Disease Markers in Crohn’s Disease (Study)SagePub.com

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