A new study has claimed that Vitamin D, readily available in supplements or cod liver oil, can counter the effects of Crohn's disease.
Published in the latest Journal of Biological Chemistry, the study by scientists from McGill University and the Université de Montréal was led by John White, an endocrinologist at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre.
"Our data suggests, for the first time, that Vitamin D deficiency can contribute to Crohn's disease," says Dr. White, a professor in McGill's Department of Physiology, noting that people from northern countries, which receive less sunlight that is necessary for the fabrication of Vitamin D by the human body, are particularly vulnerable to Crohn's disease.
Vitamin D, in its active form (1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D), is a hormone that binds to receptors in the body's cells.
Crohn's disease is an inflammatory disease of the intestines that may affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract from anus to mouth, causing a wide variety of symptoms. It primarily causes abdominal pain, diarrhea (which may be bloody), vomiting, or weight loss, but may also cause complications outside of the gastrointestinal tract such as skin rashes, arthritis and inflammation of the eye.