Digestive Health

20 May 2013

Vit D could fight Crohn's disease

A new study has found for the first time that vitamin D supplementation can relieve the symptoms of Crohn's disease.

Individuals suffering from Crohn's disease are often plagued by reduced muscle strength, fatigue and poor quality of life. These symptoms can remain even when patients are in remission. A randomised, double blind, placebo-controlled study found for the first time that vitamin D supplementation corresponded to significant relief of these symptoms.

"Our findings may have significant implications for these patients," said Tara Raftery, research dietician and PhD candidate at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. "These findings, to our knowledge, are the first to suggest potential benefits of vitamin D supplementation on muscle strength with corresponding benefits for fatigue and quality of life in Crohn's disease. These findings, however, need to be confirmed in larger studies."

The study found that after three months of taking 2000 IU of vitamin D per day, patients' muscle strength, measured by hand-grip, was significantly higher in both dominant and non-dominant hands compared to those taking placebo.

Patients also reported significantly less general, physical and mental fatigue and a higher quality of life when levels of vitamin D were 75 nano mole per liter or more.



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Dr. Estelle Wilken is a Senior Specialist in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology at Tygerberg Hospital. She obtained her MBChB in 1976, her MMed (Int) in 1991 and her gastroenterology registration in 1995.

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