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Taking Vitamin D supplements could reduce the painful Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), a new study from the University of Sheffield has found.

Their findings suggest supplements may help to ease symptoms which can include abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhoea and constipation.

Vitamin D was shown to have the most benefit on quality of life in IBS.Low vitamin D status has already been associated with the risk of colorectal cancer and has been implicated in inflammatory bowel disease.

The study, published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, showed a high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in IBS patients — regardless of their ethnicity.

The Sheffield team also assessed the possible benefits of vitamin D supplements on IBS symptoms and they found Vitamin D was shown to have the most benefit on quality of life in IBS.

Whilst they believe more research still needs to be conducted, their findings suggested supplements may help to ease symptoms which can include abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea and constipation.

Lead author of the study, Dr Bernard Corfe, 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 debilitating functional disorder of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. And, little is known about why and how the condition develops, although it is known that diet and stress can make symptoms worse.

“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,” Dr Corfe said.

The symptoms often cause embarrassment for patients meaning many live with the condition undiagnosed.

Vitamin D is essential for general wellbeing, including bone health, immune function, mental health as well as gut health. And, Vitamin D inadequacy can be remedied relatively easily with supplements if diagnosed.

With Agency Inputs

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