Vitamin D is the sunshine vitamin and certainly with all the rain we have had over the last few months we have had very little Vitamin D so it is really important to take it as the supplement over the winter period.
Recently it has been proven to be one of the most powerful disease fighting vitamins out there, with benefits ranging from boosting your immune system to reducing the risk of the incurable neurological condition, multiple sclerosis.
Now there has been a new study, published in the British Medical Journal Open Gastroenterology that shows that there may be a link between Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Vitamin D deficiency.
Many of us know the very debilitating and chronic disorder with symptoms such as abdominal pains, cramps, diarrhoea or constipation, wind, bloating, and even nausea and indigestion.
Little is known about the cause of irritable bowel although I have helped many people by looking at their food sensitivities and helping them with their digestion and gut flora. Stress is also another major culprit and maybe the results of this new study may shed more light on another underlying cause.
For this latest study, fifty-one IBS patients were enrolled. All participants provided a blood sample at the beginning of the trial to assess their vitamin D levels. An IBS symptom questionnaire was also used. The participants were then randomly assigned to receive a placebo, a vitamin D supplement and probiotic placebo, or a probiotic and vitamin D supplement.
The participants took their assigned supplements for 12 weeks, while filling in their questionnaire every second week. They also gave blood samples during their final week of the trial to measure their vitamin D levels.
The initial blood tests taken at the beginning of the trial showed that vitamin D deficiency was high across the board in all participants, ranging from 70 to 82%. At the end of the trial, the results showed that the IBS symptoms of the vitamin D and the probiotic group, improved from 25 per cent to 87.5 per cent. Those who received vitamin D alone improved from 22.2 per cent to 92.3 per cent.
The reason why people suffering with gastrointestinal conditions have low vitamin D levels is because vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin and these conditions affect your ability to absorb fat, which may cause a lower absorption of fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin D.
So if you are suffering digestive problems it may well be a good idea to take a Vitamin D supplement!