Risk Factors for Vitamin D, Zinc, and Selenium Deficiencies in Korean Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Gut Liver. 2017 May 15;11(3):363-369. doi: 10.5009/gnl16333.


Background/aims: Studies on the micronutrient status of Asian patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are scarce. We evaluated the prevalence of micronutrient deficiency and verified the risk factors for micronutrient deficiency in Korean patients with IBD.

Methods: We measured the serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 [25-(OH)D], zinc, and selenium to analyze the clinical risk factors for micronutrient levels below the reference values. In addition, we compared the 25-(OH)D levels of patients with IBD to those of age- and sex-matched healthy controls.

Results: Among the 83 patients, 74 (89.2%) had suboptimal serum 25-(OH)D levels. The mean plasma 25-(OH)D level in patients with IBD was significantly reduced compared to that of the healthy controls (12.3±6.2 ng/mL vs 20.0±6.7 ng/mL; p<0.001). The proportions of patients with lower serum zinc and selenium levels were 39.0% and 30.9%, respectively. Female sex (p=0.012) and Crohn's disease (p=0.012) were associated with vitamin D deficiency. Patients younger than 40 years were at increased risk for zinc deficiency (p=0.045). Female sex (p=0.015) and low serum albumin level (<3.3 g/dL) (p=0.047) were risk factors for selenium deficiency.

Conclusions: Many Korean patients with IBD have vitamin D, zinc, and selenium deficiencies, suggesting the necessity for monitoring levels of these micronutrients.

Keywords: Deficiency; Inflammatory bowel diseases; Selenium; Vitamin D; Zinc.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / blood
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / complications*
  • Crohn Disease / blood
  • Crohn Disease / complications*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutritional Status
  • Prevalence
  • Republic of Korea / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Selenium / blood
  • Selenium / deficiency*
  • Vitamin D / analogs & derivatives
  • Vitamin D / blood
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / epidemiology
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / etiology*
  • Young Adult
  • Zinc / blood
  • Zinc / deficiency*


  • Vitamin D
  • 25-hydroxyvitamin D
  • Selenium
  • Zinc