Vitamin D Might Help IBS

A recent study from Great Britain indicates that vitamin D supplements might help alleviate the symptoms of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) — specifically, stomach cramps and constipation.

The report, which was published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, was a systematic review of seven previously conducted research studies. Four of the studies reported that many people who suffer from IBS also have low levels of vitamin D, while two of the studies stated that vitamin D supplements lessened the severity of symptoms and brought improved quality of life in IBS patients.

In reporting the results of their investigation, the researchers cautioned that the data was limited and the evidence was not strong. They recommended that larger studies be done to confirm the relationship between vitamin D and IBS and to support the recommendation that vitamin D supplements can help IBS patients.

Nevertheless, the evidence that’s available indicates that low vitamin D levels are common in people with IBS. The lead author of the study, Bernard M. Corfe, PhD, said, “The study provides an insight into the condition and, importantly, a new way 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.”

Want to learn more about IBS? Read “IBS: Symptoms and Treatments” and “Quiz: Test Your Knowledge of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.”

Joseph Gustaitis is a freelance writer and editor based in the Chicago area.

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