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Study: Children with IBS Vitamin D Deficient

Posted By Communications Manager, Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, February 14, 2017

If your child suffers from irritable bowel syndrome there may be help in sight. A recent study out of the University of Massachusetts suggests that 90 percent of preteens and teenagers diagnosed with IBS are vitamin D deficient.

The study, published in PLOS ONE, state that Dr. Benjamin U. Nwosu, an associate professor of pediatrics, suggest children diagnosed with vitamin D should receive supplementation. It’s estimated that 6 percent of middle schoolers are affected with the disorder, but symptoms can arise much earlier.

“I was surprised that IBS had the highest prevalence of vitamin D deficiency of all the gastrointestinal disorders we studied in the past five years,” said Nwosu. “The primary finding from this study is that one out of every two pediatric patients with IBS has vitamin D deficiency compared to one out of every four healthy children and adolescents without IBS. The importance of this study was to initiate the first steps in the critical assessment of the role of vitamin D as an adjunctive therapy in children and adolescents with IBS.”

The study was completed by analyzing the medical records of 55 children with IBS and 116 children without the disorder. The deficiency was found at a much higher rate than children with celiac disease and lactose intolerance. It also investigated the relationship between vitamin D and symptoms that accompany IBS – anxiety, depression and migraine headaches.

Further research is expected, but if your child is experiencing IBS or IBS-symptoms, parents are encouraged to discuss it with their pediatrician to determine if their child may be suffering from a vitamin D deficiency. 

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