A recent study involving a group of patients with IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) found a link between inadequate vitamin D levels and lower bone mineral density. Maintaining adequate vitamin D levels in the body may help guard against bone disease in IBD patients.
IBD refers to the inflammation of the large or small colon and is characterized by diarrhea, abdominal pain and cramping, bloody stool, weight and appetite loss, and ulceration of the bowel lining. Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are two common types of inflammatory bowel disease.
While there is a higher rate of osteoporosis and fractures being a major complication of IBD, the role of Vitamin D deficiency in bone disease related to IBD is still uncertain.
Dr. William Leslie, along with colleagues from the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada, identified adults recently diagnosed with IBD and measured bone mineral density and vitamin D levels in a subgroup of 101 subjects.
Only 22 (22 percent) had optimal vitamin D levels, they found. Six patients, or 6 percent, had deficient levels, 38 (38 percent) had insufficient levels, and 35 (35 percent) had marginal levels. Higher vitamin D levels were associated with greater bone density; lower levels with reduced bone density.In 94 of the 101 subjects who had repeat BMD measurements roughly 2 years later, researchers saw a positive correlation between a gain in BMD in that interval and vitamin D levels.
Leslie reported to Reuters Health that “early optimization of vitamin D may help to prevent bone disease in inflammatory bowel disease”.