IBS – an interesting link with low Vitamin D and irritable bowel syndrome

IBS advice in norwichWe may all know that a good level of Vitamin D equates to strong bones and a well functioning immune system.  But did you also know that it may help to ease irritable bowel syndrome?  OGC Nutritional Therapist, Catherine Jeans, tells us more…. (plus you can order your vitamin D here to support your family’s health).

A recent study published by BMJ Open Gastroenterology has revealed a significant association between a patients vitamin D levels and the severity of their irritable bowel syndrome symptoms.

With IBS accounting for 10% of visits to the GP, the study (the first of its kind), found that of the 51 patients tested, 82% showed insufficient vitamin D levels and their symptoms were dramatically improved when they started to take a high-dose vitamin D3 supplement.

How to correct Vitamin D Deficiency?

Vitamin D deficiency is a huge problem in the Northern hemisphere, with up to 80% of the population estimated to be low or deficient, especially towards the end of the winter.  We get Vitamin D3 from the sun’s action on our skin, which is why we’re often so low this time of year.  Not only may there be this correlation with Vitamin D and our gut health, we also need this essential nutrient to absorb calcium into our bones, and low levels have been associated with obesity, cardiovascular disease, fertility problems and an increased risk of auto-immune conditions.

Vitamin D deficiency is usually easy to correct, with simple lifestyle changes and/or supplementation.  Firstly if winter sun is an option for you, there’s no better excuse to get away this time of year.   Also when the sun is shining, do get outside as much as you can, obviously being mindful of protecting yourself from too much sun.  Some foods such as oily fish and fortified foods have some Vitamin D, however it’s very difficult to get it from diet alone.

The UK Department of Health recommend that all children under 5, all breastfeeding and pregnant women, people with darker skin and those over 65 should be supplementing vitamin D3 every day.  For an adult, Catherine recommends around 1000iu per day (25mcg) as a maintenance dose.  We have several options to choose from in our Clinic shop, with some of them available online.

Further Support for IBS

Having worked with hundreds of clients living with IBS, Catherine knows that there are so many factors which could be contributing to your symptoms.  If you’d like help to support your digestive health, Catherine is holding an IBS Solutions Workshop in March, packed with knowledge, tips, practical demonstrations and great advice.  Places limited, book here.