Vitamin D eases the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, such as stomach bloating, research finds.
Stomach bloating affects one-third of adults in the US.
Over 90 percent of people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) experience stomach bloating.
The study found that many people with IBS also had a vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin D supplementation helps easy many symptoms of IBS, which include abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation and bloating.
Dr Bernard Corfe, study co-author, said:
“The study provides an insight into the condition and, importantly, a new way to try to manage it.
It is evident from the findings that all people with IBS should have their vitamin D levels tested and a large majority of them would benefit from supplements.
IBS is a poorly understood condition which impacts severely on the quality of life of sufferers.
There is no single known cause and likewise no single known cure.”
The research was a review of seven different studies on the connection between vitamin D levels and IBS.
The study’s authors write that:
“The available evidence suggests that low vitamin D status is common among the IBS population and merits assessment and rectification for general health reasons alone.
An inverse correlation between serum vitamin D and IBS symptom severity is suggested and vitamin D interventions may benefit symptoms.”
IBS may affect as many as one-in-five people.
The condition can cause much embarrassment and can frequently be a lifelong disease.
Another way to combat stomach bloating is by reducing salt intake.
A low sodium diet decreased the risk of stomach bloating by 27 percent.
How salt causes bloating is not yet known, although the scientists think it could be because salt causes water retention.
The study was published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Williams et al., 2018).