Paediatric IBD patients not meeting recommended calcium and vitamin D intake

May 29, 2017
A paediatric IBD infographic. Credit: United European Gastroenterology

A new study highlights that children suffering from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are not meeting the daily recommended intake of calcium and vitamin D. The research, conducted at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London, identified that only 26.6% and 21.3% of paediatric IBD patients were achieving the current recommended intake for calcium and vitamin D respectively.

Medical experts from United European Gastroenterology (UEG) are therefore calling for immediate intervention to ensure that paediatric IBD are not put at risk of experiencing poor bone health and development, homeostasis imbalance and D deficiencies.

Achieving optimal levels of calcium and vitamin D is essential for developing , especially in patients with IBD, as research suggests that children and adolescents with the disease develop suboptimal bone health in comparison to their peers. Therefore, they may not achieve optimal bone mineralisation, resulting in an increased risk of permanent height deficits. Vitamin D and calcium both play a major role in and recently vitamin D has shown to potentiate the effect of anti-inflammatory treatments.

However, ensuring a sufficient intake of vitamin D and calcium in children can be challenging. Rita Shergill-Bonner, Principle Dietician at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, London, explains, "When taking into account their young age and modern eating habits, coupled with the emotional, psychological and physical stress of living with IBD, it can be hard for paediatric patients to maintain a balanced diet and a sufficient intake of the right nutrients. We therefore urge the parents and carers of paediatric IBD patients to monitor their children's diets carefully to ensure they are consuming the right foods to help their disease course and ensure adequate and normal development."

There is no solitary cause of IBD but it is thought to be due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Incidence rates have been steadily increasing over the past few decades and one in four cases of the disease are diagnosed during childhood. Physical IBD symptoms can be extremely debilitating, including severe abdominal pain, diarrhoea, weight loss and fatigue. The disease can also have a significant impact on a patient's psychological, emotional and mental health, with over half of sufferers feeling that the disease negatively affects their education. Professor Philippe van Hootegem, UEG IBD expert comments, "There are many effective drugs available to help treat IBD but there are still a lot of unmet needs in both child and adult patients. Interesting and hopeful new drugs, some of which are to be taken orally, are in their final development stage. Nevertheless, a definitive curative therapy is not on the horizon yet and future research is still needed."

"It is imperative that healthcare professionals provide all IBD patients with regular and frequent advice on nutrition and healthy eating habits, including guidance on food sources that are rich in calcium and vitamin D", adds Professor Gigi Veereman, UEG paediatric IBD expert. "Tailored care services, long-term follow up, regular reviews and frequent medical interventions are required to minimise additional health risk in our paediatric patients"

Explore further: AAP: Good nutrition, exercise optimize pediatric bone health

Related Stories

AAP: Good nutrition, exercise optimize pediatric bone health

September 30, 2014
(HealthDay)—Pediatricians play an important role in fostering optimal bone health in children and adolescents, according to research published online Sept. 29 in Pediatrics.

Study reveals high levels of vitamin D inadequacy in UK adolescents

October 18, 2016
A study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, has shown high levels of vitamin D inadequacy in UK adolescents, and – for the first time – identified the intake needed by adolescents in order to maintain ...

Mobile tracking application may help users meet vitamin D requirements

May 7, 2015
Vitamin D is essential for the maintenance of bone health and may be implicated in other chronic diseases, as well as immunity, but adults in Canada are consistently deficient in dietary vitamin D, by nearly 400 international ...

ESCEO-IOF expert panel reviews current evidence for efficacy of calcium supplementation

November 15, 2016
An expert consensus meeting of the European Society for Clinical and Economic Aspects of Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases (ESCEO) and the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) has reviewed the ...

Vitamin D intake may be associated with lower stress fracture risk in girls

March 5, 2012
Vitamin D may be associated with a lower risk of developing stress fractures in preadolescent and adolescent girls, especially among those very active in high-impact activities, according to a report published Online First ...

British scientists recommend we need to triple our daily vitamin D intake

July 21, 2016
Scientists have warned we need to triple our daily vitamin D intake to maintain healthy bones in a new report issued to the government today (Thursday 21 July 2016).

Recommended for you

New shoe makes running 4 percent easier, 2-hour marathon possible, study shows

November 17, 2017
Eleven days after Boulder-born Shalane Flanagan won the New York City Marathon in new state-of-the-art racing flats known as "4%s," University of Colorado Boulder researchers have published the study that inspired the shoes' ...

Vaping while pregnant could cause craniofacial birth defects, study shows

November 16, 2017
Using e-cigarettes during pregnancy could cause birth defects of the oral cavity and face, according to a recent Virginia Commonwealth University study.

Study: For older women, every movement matters

November 16, 2017
Folding your laundry or doing the dishes might not be the most enjoyable parts of your day. But simple activities like these may help prolong your life, according to the findings of a new study in older women led by the University ...

When vegetables are closer in price to chips, people eat healthier, study finds

November 16, 2017
When healthier food, like vegetables and dairy products, is pricier compared to unhealthy items, like salty snacks and sugary sweets, Americans are significantly less likely to have a high-quality diet, a new Drexel University ...

Children's exposure to secondhand smoke may be vastly underestimated by parents

November 15, 2017
Four out of 10 children in the US are exposed to secondhand smoke, according to the American Heart Association. A new Tel Aviv University study suggests that parents who smoke mistakenly rely on their own physical senses ...

How pomegranate extract alters breast cancer stem cell properties

November 15, 2017
A University at Albany research team has found evidence suggesting that the same antioxidant that gives pomegranate fruit their vibrant red color can alter the characteristics of breast cancer stem cells, showing the superfood's ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.