Vitamin D deficiency linked to more painful digestive health problems

By Dena SchmidtVitamin D deficiency

(NaturalHealth365) Vitamin D is integral to immune system health, bone health, brain functioning and fighting cancer. Now new research out of the University of Sheffield Department of Oncology and Metabolism has found that optimal vitamin D levels can help to ease painful IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) symptoms as well.

IBS (sometimes called IBD – Irritable Bowel Disease) is a painful condition that affects about 3 million people in the United States and two out of every 10 people in the UK. It is a functional disorder of the GI (gastrointestinal) tract, and in some cases can be quite debilitating. Yet, we know there are many natural ways to eliminate digestive health problems.

It should be noted that IBS tends to be the catalyst for around 10 percent of all GP surgical clinic visits. Plus, this avoidable health problem causes many to miss work and greatly lower overall quality of life.

Vitamin D supplementation found to reduce IBS symptoms

IBD and IBS symptoms include diarrhea, constipation, changes in bowel movements, gas, bloating and abdominal pain. Other related symptoms can include urinary issues, fatigue, depression, anxiety, headache, heart palpitations and sleep issues.

The University of Sheffield researchers found that persons with IBS, across the board, tend to have a vitamin D deficiency – regardless of ethnicity. Thankfully, those same people responded positively to vitamin D supplementation – which helped to reduce IBS symptoms and improve quality of life.

The exact causes of IBS are unknown. Some researchers believe nutritional deficiencies, stress and genetics can all play a role. While there is no known cure (conventionally-speaking), the results of this IBS study bring (new) hope that vitamin D therapy can offer a means of managing and even helping to eliminate this health issue.

Vitamin D levels of around 40 ng/mL ideal for supporting optimal health

Most people, in the natural health world, know that vitamin D is essential to bone health, immune functioning, emotional wellbeing and good gut health. Conversely, low vitamin D is associated with many diseases including a higher incidence of colorectal cancer.

However, vitamin D deficiency can be remedied with supplements if it is detected. The University of Sheffield research results were published in the January 2018 European Journal of Clinical Nutrition and should encourage all those concerned to get tested. (it’s a simple blood test and fairly inexpensive to obtain.)

While the current recommended vitamin D level is 20 ng/mL, research shows that double this amount is ideal to reap the full spectrum of health benefits of vitamin D. While our best source of vitamin D is from the sun, supplementation can also help as well – especially when you consider that most people don’t get the proper amount of sun exposure.

In addition to relieving IBS symptoms, optimal vitamin D levels also protect against cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

In some cases, several thousand IUs per day may be required to raise and optimize levels. Ideal vitamin D in the bloodstream helps to reduce the risk of cancer and Alzheimer’s disease as well, so it’s an extremely important nutrient for health, wellbeing and longevity.

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