Effects of vitamin D3 supplementation on clinical symptoms, quality of life, serum serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine), 5-hydroxy-indole acetic acid, and ratio of 5-HIAA/5-HT in patients with diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome: A randomized clinical trial

EXCLI J. 2020 May 19:19:652-667. doi: 10.17179/excli2020-2247. eCollection 2020.


Vitamin D deficiency, common in the population with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), can induce the main factors that lead to IBS clinical symptoms, such as depression, anxiety, and inflammation. Serotonin (5-HT) plays an important role in the pathophysiology of IBS, and its production and secretion are increased from the lumen due to stress and inflammation. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of vitamin D3 supplementation on the pathogenesis of diarrhea-predominant IBS (IBS-D). Seventy-four IBS-D patients (age: 18-65 y) participated in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial study from February 2017 to May 2018, at Rasoul-e-Akram Hospital, Tehran, Iran. Subjects were allocated into two groups receiving 50,000 IU/week of vitamin D3 or placebo for 9 weeks. IBS severity score system (IBS-SSS), IBS-quality of life questionnaire (QoL), hospital anxiety and depression Scale (HADs), visceral sensitivity index (VSI) and serum 25(OH) vitamin D3, serotonin, 5-hydroxy-indole acetic acid and ratio of 5-HIAA/5-HT were evaluated before and after the interventions. Symptoms severity, QoL, HADs-depression, and VSI score improved significantly in the vitamin D group as compared to the placebo group (P-values: <0.001, 0.049, 0.023, and 0.008; respectively). There were no significant differences in abdominal bloating, HADs-anxiety, serum 5-HT, 5-HIAA, and 5-HIAA/5-HT between the two groups at the end of the study. Based on our results, we recommend serum vitamin D be evaluated in the process of treatment of these patients to ameliorate symptoms and quality life of IBS-D patients with vitamin D deficiency and/or insufficiency.

Keywords: clinical symptoms; irritable bowel syndrome; randomized controlled trial; serotonin; vitamin D3.