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The Role of Vitamin D in Digestive Health

Vitamin D is actually a group of fat soluble prohormones that play a critical role in regulating calcium and phosphorus levels in the body. Not technically a vitamin since sunlight triggers its synthesis in skin, vitamin D is a secosteroid molecule, and exerts its effect by activating vitamin D receptors. [1]

It has been found that vitamin D has anti-inflammatory and immune-modulating effects. These effects have led to possible implications in the pathophysiology of immune-mediated diseases including multiple sclerosis and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).[2]

Inflammatory bowel disease is a chronic disease that causes inflammation in all or part of the digestive tract. The two main types of inflammatory bowel disease are Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis, which affect different parts of the digestive tract. Researchers have found that people with inflammatory bowel disease are more likely to have low levels of vitamin D.[3] In inflammatory bowel disease, vitamin D may help the immune system to reduce overproduction of inflammatory proteins.

If you suffer from IBD, talk to your healthcare professional about the D-Spot test to measure your vitamin D levels.  Rocky Mountain Analytical also has other tests available which may be helpful in assessment of non-inflammatory problems with digestion, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

 

References:

1. Vitamin D Monograph. Alt Med Rev. 2008;13(2):153-164

2. Vitamin D and its role in immunology: Multiple sclerosis, and inflammatory bowel disease. Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology. 2006;92(1):60-64

3. Vitamin D Status and Bone Density in Recently Diagnosed Inflammatory Bowel Disease: The Manitoba IBD Cohort Study. The American Journal of Gastroenterology. 2008; 103:1451-59. doi:10.1111/j.1572-0241.2007.01753.x