Patients in remission with Crohn’s disease who took vitamin D had significant improvement in quality of life, according to research presented at the annual Digestive Disease Week in Florida.
Crohn’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, fatigue, and weight loss.
Tara Raftery, MD, of the University of Dublin and colleagues conducted a randomized controlled trial recruiting 27 patients in a period of remission from Crohn’s disease. The patients were randomized to receive 2000 IU vitamin D per day or placebo.
At baseline vitamin D levels of those in the vitamin D group were 26 ng/ml, while levels in the placebo group were 20 ng/ml. Grip strength and fatigue scores were both similar at baseline in the treatment and placebo groups.
After 3 months of supplementation the vitamin D status of the treatment group rose to 35 ng/ml and dropped to 15 ng/ml in the placebo group. The Crohn’s patients taking vitamin D supplements whose vitamin D level were 30 ng/ml or above had mean scores on the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Questionnaire of 187, compared with scores of 163 of those taking a placebo. The higher the score, the better quality of life.
Grip strength of the vitamin D group increased significantly in both dominant and nondominant hands. Additionally, the treatment group experienced significantly less physical and mental fatigue following treatment.
“That 24-point increase in quality of life score exceeded the 20-point increase that is considered clinically meaningful to patients and physicians,” Dr Raftery explained.
The authors are currently conducting a large scale, one year randomized controlled trial with 130 patients.
Dr Raftery concludes, “These findings suggest that patients with Crohn’s disease may benefit from vitamin D supplementation in muscle strength, fatigue, and quality of life.”
This study corroborates with research published earlier this month in which researchers out of Penn State University found vitamin D helped Crohn’s patients in an open label trial.