Don't Forget The Sunshine Vitamin : Vitamin D

"Winter is Coming" was the first episode of the HBO thrilling series Game of Thrones.


While that is an excellent show to watch, people suffering or susceptible to IBD should be concerned about winter coming for other reasons if they live in northern latitudes. With the season change comes the cold, shorter days, and cloudy skies. This means less natural Vitamin D..

There are a few reasons to be concerned about this and why someone with IBD should consider taking supplemental Vitamin D.

Vitamin D is known as the sunshine vitamin. Take away the sunshine and there goes the Vitamin D because it is produced when the sun's ultra-violet rays hit the skin.

Epidemiological research shows people who live in northern latitudes are more at risk of having inadequate levels of Vitamin D compared to those who live in southern latitudes.

A study published in the journal 
Gut shows geography also affects the incidence of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD): increasing latitude of residence was linked to an elevated incidence of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis in a population of American women. Another study published in the journal Gastroenterology demonstrated a connection between higher Vitamin D status and lower Crohn’s disease, suggesting greater Vitamin D intake is a means of decreasing the risk of Crohn’s disease. Emerging research is pointing to Vitamin D and its role in the inflammatory process, and as a factor in the disease activity in patients with IBD, according to Dr. Gilaad Kaplan, a gastroenterologist with a research interest in IBD and Assistant Professor at the University of Calgary. 

As if this is not enough of a reason to take supplemental Vitamin D during the winter months, here is another one: A high prevalence of Osteoporosis is associated with Crohn’s and Colitis. One of the risk factors for Crohn’s and Colitis patients developing Osteoporosis is inadequate levels of Vitamin D.

There are two choices that I know of for adding supplemental Vitamin D. One is through purchasing capsules at the health food store. Another means is having a physician prescribe sublingual Vitamin D drops. These are typically available through prescription via compounding pharmacies.

One other thing, it is outside of the scope of this posting to delve into dosage levels. Recommendations for dosage levels do vary depending on the source from what I have seen. It is best to consult with your physician especially if you are taking other prescription medications.

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