Vitamin D and Gut Health
Monday, September 21st, 2015
Source: Smart Tan
New research has found that Vitamin D supplementation modulates the gut microbiome of the upper gastrointestinal tract, offering a possible explanation for the benefits of vitamin D supplementation on gastrointestinal disease.
The gut microbiome refers to the 100 trillion microorganisms that live in the human gut. These microorganisms serve various purposes in our body, such as vitamin production, toxin, degradation and metabolism. The human gut microbiome also plays a major role in the defense against intestinal pathogens and the intestinal immune system.
The gastrointestinal microbiome must maintain homeostasis to function optimally. When this homeostasis is impaired, one is at a greater risk for inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, colon cancer and infections.
According to research, individuals with low vitamin d status may also be at increased risk for inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, colon cancer and infection. In a recent study, researchers hypothesized that some of the beneficial effects attributed to vitamin D might be related to vitamin D’s interaction with the gut microbiome. The researchers examined the microbiome of the stomach, small intestine, colon and stool before and after eight weeks of vitamin D supplementation in 15 healthy volunteers.