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Study: Vitamin D May Help Prevent Crohn’s Disease

February 4, 2010 by  

Study: Vitamin D may help prevent Crohn's diseaseCanadian researchers have found that vitamin D may be able to combat and even prevent symptoms related to Crohn’s disease, a chronic inflammatory bowel disorder associated with diarrhea, intestinal pain and weight loss.

The study, conducted at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Center, was originally designed to investigate the nutrient’s ability to treat cancer cells, but scientists discovered that vitamin D had a beneficial effect on two genes associated with inflammatory bowel disorders.

Lead researcher John White and his colleagues found that vitamin D supplementation forced a reaction in the beta defensin 2 and NOD2 genes, which alert cells to the presence of invading microbes. If NOD2 is deficient or defective, the gene cannot combat microbial attacks in the intestinal tract.

"This discovery is exciting, since it shows how an over-the-counter supplement such as vitamin D could help people defend themselves against Crohn’s disease," says study collaborator Marc Servant.

The next step for the team is to conduct clinical trials with human participants suffering from the intestinal disorder.

Separate studies have also suggested that vitamin D can help prevent heart disease and certain forms of cancer.

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  • Jo

    Wich form of Vitamin D was used in the study? If it is just Vitamin D, would vitamin D3 have different properties, that would negate the studies findings?

  • Alex

    Jo’s question is very valid. which type of vitamin D is it? There are many.

  • http://PersonalLibertyDigest Barbara

    The natural form (as made from the sun) of Vitamin D is D3 (cholecalciferol); the synthetic form is D2 (used to fortify milk, processed foods, etc). Obviously, the body can better absorb and utilize a natural form of any vitamin vs a synthetic. Have your MD run a Vitamin D blood test 25(OH)D. While standard range is 30-100, optimal range is 50+ but not to exceed 100.

    • Joe H.

      How many units would it take to raise your blood count say 15 points?
      My Dr. has me taking 50,000 units twice a week!!!

  • Jan

    Was this study done on humans or non-humans?? as Vit D is absorbed & used differently in species. I have had Crohn’s since 1971 and found Gotu Kola helps prevent symptoms for me. Crohn’s is a disease that is passed genetically from your family gene pool. As with any disease, research needs to be done on the species that has the disease and also needs to be formatted for each individual as each case is different from the next. Mass studies can be misleading!

  • Matthew

    I’m nearly 40 and have had Crohn’s for almost half my life. My acute symptoms are minimal and I do not take any drugs whatsoever. The last time I was in a doctor’s office for a Crohn’s flare up must have been at least 7 -9 years ago! I have no bleeding diarrhea, but I have had to cut alot of things out of my diet, and do need to eat certain foods to help me stay regular – bananas help. I’ve tried the whole homeopathic and herbal healing stuff and that gave me negligible help up to a point.

    However, I have symptoms of arthritis in some of my major and minor joints and have suffered poor overall health for about the last 7 years. I try to be physically active, but I fatigue easily and my back (which has been a problem since adolescence) takes the longest to heal when I do something physically demanding. I find red-meat helps in that regard…and anything with soy is verboten! Most processed snack foods are bad for my guts too. In the end (and I do NOT claim to have all the answers) I think finding what foods might set your symptoms off is a priority! Then try to eat simple meals without those foods, regardless of who tells you: “They are good for you”. My 2 cents.

    • Justin

      I would check your iron and vitamin D levels. I have very similiar problems and just went to the doctor and found that my vitamin D level is at 16 (normal is 30-100) and my doctor said that my iron level is slightly low as well. Deficiencies in these areas can lead to a lot of problems in life. better to check it out and at worse have to take vitamins to get your levels up than suffer with pain. God Bless.

  • Carmen

    I would be most interested to hear of how people are handling their Crohns disease, I have had it for over 47 years, and have tried almost everything, I have been taking vitamin D in 10,000 units per day, for l month now, have had some improvment.

    Any one else have any ideas or have tried Vitamin D

    Please email me at the enclosed email,




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