Background: Low-grade mucosal inflammation and immune activation are involved in the pathogenesis of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Furthermore, IBS symptoms are associated with a significantly higher prevalence of psychological distress, which in itself results into an impaired quality of life (QoL). Vitamin D could ameliorate the symptoms of patients suffering from IBS through its beneficial effects on psychological factors and inflammation.
Methods: A total of 90 IBS patients participated in this double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study. Participants were randomly selected to receive either 50 000 IU vitamin D3 or a placebo fortnightly for a period of 6 months. Patients reported their IBS symptoms at the baseline and monthly during intervention periods. The IBS severity score system (IBSSS) and IBS-specific QoL questionnaires were used at the baseline and postintervention.
Key results: Over the 6-month intervention period, a significantly greater improvement in IBS symptoms such as abdominal pain and distention, flatulence, rumbling, and overall gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms (except dissatisfaction with bowel habits) was observed in the patients receiving vitamin D as compared to the placebo group. The IBSSS and the IBS-QoL scores in the vitamin D group significantly improved compared to the placebo group postintervention (mean IBSSS score change: -53.82 ± 23.3 vs -16.85 ± 25.01, p < 0.001, respectively; mean IBS-QoL score change: 14.26 ± 3 vs 11 ± 2.34, p < 0.001, respectively).
Conclusions & inferences: Vitamin D seems to be an effective and safe option to improve QoL and symptoms of IBS. ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT02579902).
Keywords: IBS severity score; gastrointestinal symptoms; health-related quality of life; irritable bowel syndrome; vitamin D.
© 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.