Vitamin D supplements could ease painful IBS symptoms

January 25, 2018, University of Sheffield
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Vitamin D supplements could help to ease painful Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) symptoms, a new study from the University of Sheffield has found.

Scientists from the University's Department of Oncology and Metabolism reviewed and integrated all available research on D and IBS - a condition which affects two in 10 people in the UK.

The study showed a high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in IBS patients - regardless of their ethnicity.

The Sheffield team also assessed the possible benefits of vitamin D supplements on IBS symptoms. Whilst they believe more research still needs to be conducted, their findings suggested supplements may help to ease symptoms which can include abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhoea and constipation. Vitamin D was shown to have the most benefit on quality of life in IBS.

Lead author of the study, Dr Bernard Corfe, said: "The study provides an insight into the condition and, importantly, a new way to try to manage it.

"It is evident from the findings that all people with IBS should have their vitamin D levels tested and a large majority of them would benefit from supplements.

"IBS is a poorly understood condition which impacts severely on the quality of life of sufferers. There is no single known cause and likewise no single known cure."

IBS is a debilitating functional disorder of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Little is known about why and how the condition develops, although it is known that diet and stress can make symptoms worse.

The symptoms often cause embarrassment for patients meaning many live with the condition undiagnosed.

IBS accounts for 10 per cent of visits to GP surgeries and the condition has a significant and escalating burden on society as a consequence of lost work days and time spent on regular hospital appointments.

Vitamin D is essential for general wellbeing, including bone health, immune function, mental health as well as gut health. Vitamin D inadequacy can be remedied relatively easily with supplements if diagnosed.

Low vitamin D status has already been associated with the risk of colorectal cancer and has been implicated in inflammatory bowel disease.

The new study is published today (Thursday 25 January 2018) in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The University of Sheffield's Department of Oncology and Metabolism conducts world-class research from basic clinical and translational cancer research to life course research and basic level biology through to diseases such as diabetes and osteoporosis.

Explore further: Large proportion of IBS patients are vitamin D deficient

Related Stories

Large proportion of IBS patients are vitamin D deficient

December 21, 2015
A large proportion of people living with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) are vitamin D deficient, a new study has found.

Certain factors affect vitamin D levels in children with chronic kidney disease

June 16, 2016
Researchers have identified certain modifiable and non-modifiable factors associated with vitamin D deficiency in children with chronic kidney disease (CKD). The findings, which appear in an upcoming issue of the Clinical ...

Vitamin D supplements may benefit children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

November 21, 2016
Vitamin D supplementation improved symptoms of autism in a recent trial.

GP guidelines needed for chronic pain treatment

November 10, 2014
Some patients with chronic pain could be better served by being prescribed vitamin D supplements by their GP, according to research at the University of Adelaide.

Nutritional vitamin D supplements do not help treat anemia in dialysis patients

December 17, 2015
There is no role for nutritional vitamin D supplements in treating anemia in patients on hemodialysis, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN).

Less than half of elderly hip fracture patients take vitamin D supplements

March 14, 2017
Despite national recommendations for daily vitamin D intake, a new study presented today at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) found that just 45.7 percent of patients reported ...

Recommended for you

Consuming caffeine from coffee reduces incident rosacea

October 22, 2018
(HealthDay)—Caffeine intake from coffee is inversely associated with the risk for incident rosacea, according to a study published online Oct. 17 in JAMA Dermatology.

Home-based biofeedback therapy is effective option for tough-to-treat constipation

October 22, 2018
Biofeedback therapy used at home is about 70 percent effective at helping patients learn how to coordinate and relax bowel muscles and relieve one of the most difficult-to-treat types of constipation, investigators report.

New hope for cystic fibrosis

October 19, 2018
A new triple-combination drug treatment being trialled at the Mater Hospital in Brisbane could increase the life expectancy of patients with cystic fibrosis.

Bug guts shed light on Central America Chagas disease

October 18, 2018
In Central America, Chagas disease, or American trypanosomiasis, is spread by the "kissing bug" Triatoma dimidiata. By collecting DNA from the guts of these bugs, researchers reporting in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases ...

Rapid genomic sequencing of Lassa virus in Nigeria enabled real-time response to 2018 outbreak

October 18, 2018
Mounting a collaborative, real-time response to a Lassa fever outbreak in early 2018, doctors and scientists in Nigeria teamed up with researchers at Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and colleagues to rapidly sequence the ...

Researchers cure drug-resistant infections without antibiotics

October 17, 2018
Biochemists, microbiologists, drug discovery experts and infectious disease doctors have teamed up in a new study that shows antibiotics are not always necessary to cure sepsis in mice. Instead of killing causative bacteria ...

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.