The results of a study carried out by researchers at St James’s Hospital in Dublin have shown that vitamin D could improve intestinal barrier dysfunctions associated with Crohn’s disease (CD), a gastrointestinal condition characterized by inflammation.
The researchers gave 27 subjects with CD in remission either 2,000iu of vitamin D daily for three months, or placebo, and analyzed changes in gut barrier function, ie intestinal permeability (IP) and antimicrobial peptide concentrations.
Those in the vitamin D group were more likely to retain intestinal permeability, with those in the placebo group seeing a deterioration in intestinal permeability which may predict and precede a clinical relapse in CD.
Those subjects who had the highest blood levels of vitamin D also showed signs of reduced inflammation.
“This is the first reporting of vit D, IP and LL-37 measures in a CD cohort, and while the data requires confirmation, it broadly supported emerging experimental evidence that suggests a role for vit D in maintaining intestinal barrier integrity,” wrote the authors of the study.