Management of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, is generally cumbersome for patients and is a massive health-economic burden. In recent years, the immunomodulating effects of vitamin D have gained a huge interest in its possible pathogenic influence on the pathophysiology of IBD. Vitamin D deficiency is frequent among patients with IBD. Several clinical studies have pointed to a critical role for vitamin D in ameliorating disease outcomes. Although causation versus correlation unfortunately remains an overwhelming issue in the illusive chicken versus egg debate regarding vitamin D and IBD, here we summarise the latest knowledge of the immunological effects of vitamin D in IBD and recommend from available evidence that physicians regularly monitor serum 25(OH)D levels in patients with IBD. Moreover, we propose an algorithm for optimising vitamin D status in patients with IBD in clinical practice. Awaiting well-powered controlled clinical trials, we consider vitamin D supplementation to be an affordable and widely accessible therapeutic strategy to ameliorate IBD clinical outcomes.
Keywords: biologics; clinical control; inflammatory bowel disease; therapy; vitamin D.
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