Vitamin DCrohn’s disease is an inflammation of the intestine characterized by pain, bleeding, and ulcerations in the gut. Impaired gut permeability leads to the passage of bacteria, toxins, or other substances through the gut lining into deeper tissues, and throughout the body. This aggravates the inflammatory immune response. Increased gut permeability occurs before clinical relapse in Crohn’s disease.

Vitamin D supplementation has been demonstrated to maintain intestinal integrity, thus reducing leaky gut. Crohn’s disease patients were treated with vitamin D 2000 units daily for 3 months. They were found to have more intact gut linings than those treated with placebo. They also had reduced evidence of inflammation, measured by C reactive protein and antimicrobial proteins. (United European Gastroenterology Journal, 2015).

Vitamin D suppresses inflammation caused by white blood cell mediators. It has significant effects on immune system function. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to other autoimmune disorders, including MS, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and type 1 diabetes. Vitamin D reduces your risk of getting the flu, and may help heal tuberculosis. It may also reduce the risk for colon or prostate cancer.

The main action of vitamin D is to enable absorption of dietary calcium from the intestine, to be used in producing new bone. Thus it is critical for bone growth and thickness in children and adults. Osteoporosis and osteopenia (low bone density) are very common in menopausal women, older men, those who cannot exercise, and people treated with steroids, stomach acid suppressants, and prostate cancer drugs. In our testing, many individuals have shown borderline or low blood levels of vitamin D.

Normally, vitamin D is produced in the skin from that important molecule, cholesterol, under the influence of sunlight. Since many people stay out of the sun for fear of getting skin cancer, vitamin D levels have declined. The answer is just to take vitamin D as an oral supplement. Getting to optimal levels of 80-100 ng/ml is inexpensive and safe. Vitamin D supplementation of 3000-5000 units daily should be effective.

Allan Sosin, MD

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