Relevance of Vitamin D in Crohn’s Disease
While previous research has associated low vitamin D levels with an increased risk of Crohn’s disease and shown that correcting your vitamin D deficiency can improve symptoms of the disease,2 one of the most recent studies3 found a “significant interaction between vitamin D levels and Crohn’s disease susceptibility, as well as a significant association between vitamin D levels and genotype.”
Serum vitamin D levels were found to be significantly lower in patients with Crohn’s disease. Of the seven DNA sequence variations examined for effects, two variants showed a significant association with vitamin D levels in those with Crohn’s, and four variants were associated with vitamin D levels among controls.
In short, it shows that vitamin D can affect genetic expression associated with Crohn’s disease, and make matters either better or worse, depending on whether you have enough of it or not.
Vitamin D May Reduce Depression and Pain
In related news, vitamin D supplementation has been found to reduce both depression and pain in diabetic women. As reported by PsychCentral:4
“The investigators set out to determine how vitamin D supplementation might affect women with type 2 diabetes who were also suffering from depression.
At the beginning of the study, 61 percent of women reported neuropathic pain, such as shooting or burning pain in their legs and feet, and 74 percent had sensory pain, such as numbness and tingling in their hands, fingers and legs.
During the course of the study, the participants took a 50,000 IU vitamin D2 supplement every week for 6 months. By the end of the study, the women’s depression levels had significantly improved following the supplementation.
Furthermore, participants who suffered from neuropathic and/or sensory pain at the beginning of the study reported that these symptoms decreased at 3 and 6 months following vitamin D2 supplementation.”
According to lead researcher Todd Doyle, Ph.D., vitamin D supplementation “is a promising treatment for both pain and depression in type 2 diabetes.” However, I would note that you’d probably get even better results using vitamin D3 rather than prescription D2. In fact, previous research suggests vitamin D2might do more harm than good in the long term…
Why I Recommend Vitamin D3 Over D2
Drisdol is a synthetic form of vitamin D2—made by irradiating fungus and plant matter—and is the form of vitamin D typically prescribed by doctors. This is notthe type produced by your body in response to sun or safe tanning bed exposure, which is vitamin D3.
According to a 2012 meta-analysis by the Cochrane Database,5 which assessed mortality rates for people who supplemented their diets with D2 versus those who did so with D3, there are significant differences in outcome between the two. The analysis of 50 randomized controlled trials, which included a total of 94,000 participants, showed:
A six percent relative risk reduction among those who used vitamin D3
A two percent relative risk increase among those who used D2
That said, the featured research certainly sheds light on the role vitamin D can play in the management of type 2 diabetes and associated side effects. And when you consider that an estimated 60 percent of type 2 diabetics are vitamin D deficient,6 there’s certainly plenty of room for improvement.