Vitamin D supplements could help to ease painful Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) symptoms, a new study from the University of Sheffield has found after reviewing all available research on vitamin D and IBS.
It’s estimated that five million Canadians live with IBS, a disorder that affects many more women than men. The main symptoms include recurrent abdominal pain and irregular bowel patterns (constipation, diarrhea, or both). IBS symptoms are thought to result from overly reactive and/or extra sensitive nerves that control muscles in the bowel.
The study showed a high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in IBS patients, regardless of their ethnicity.
The research team also assessed the possible benefits of vitamin D supplements on IBS symptoms. Their findings suggested supplements may help to ease symptoms which can include abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea and constipation. Vitamin D was shown to have the most benefit on quality of life in IBS.
The led researcher noted, "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.
Vitamin D is essential for general wellbeing, including bone health, immune function, mental health as well as gut health.
Low vitamin D status has already been associated with the risk of colorectal cancer and has been implicated in inflammatory bowel disease.
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