New Medical Research Shows Vitamin D Deficiency Observed in Children, Adolescents and Adults with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Calling Attention to Managing Nutritional Requirements Related to IBS

Wednesday, April 5, 2017 Research News
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- New study notes that children and adolescents with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) have a high incidence of vitamin D deficiency

BOCA RATON, Fla., April 5, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- A recently published case-controlled study, entitled "Vitamin D status

in pediatric irritable bowel syndrome,"1 found more than 90 percent of pediatric patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) were deficient in vitamin D. According to the lead study author from UMass Memorial Health Care, Benjamin U. Nwosu, M.D., these children "are definitely at risk for decreased bone mass." The study was published on February 13, 2017, in PLOS ONE, a peer-reviewed, open-access scientific journal published by the Public Library of Science (PLOS), which covers primary research within science and medicine.

Dr. Nwosu said that he "was surprised that IBS had the highest prevalence of vitamin D deficiency of all gastrointestinal disorders we have studied in the past 5 years."

The study authors noted, "There is a much higher prevalence of vitamin D deficiency (in IBS) compared to IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) and other malabsorption syndromes."  

"Clinicians should immediately increase their surveillance for vitamin D deficiency in patients with IBS and initiate appropriate vitamin D supplementation in cases of deficiency," said Dr. Nwosu.  

Vitamin D Deficiency in Adults With IBSA previous analysis in adults conducted with patients with IBS and a healthy control group without IBS, entitled "Vitamin D Deficiency in Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Does it Exist?"2, showed that vitamin D deficiency was highly prevalent in patients with IBS, and that vitamin D supplementation should be considered as part of the therapeutic protocol in patients with IBS. The 2015 study was published in the Oman Medical Journal, a peer-reviewed, open-access international journal.

Yasir Khayyat, M.D., the lead study author, concluded that vitamin D supplementation could play a therapeutic role in control of IBS.  He said, "With an enhanced attention on the role of vitamin D deficiency in the pathogenesis of several chronic illnesses, deficiency of vitamin D in IBS has recently caught the interest of medical professionals. There have been numerous attempts of therapeutic application of vitamin D to improve IBS symptoms. More research is needed to establish the therapeutic role of vitamin D in the management of IBS patients and deficiency should be addressed in the diagnosis and the treatment of the condition."

Another double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study recently was conducted by the University of Sheffield (U.K.). This study of adults with IBS, entitled "Vitamin D associates with improved quality of life in participants with irritable bowel syndrome: outcomes from a pilot trial,"3 showed that 78 percent of the IBS patients in the study were vitamin D deficient, and, at baseline, circulating vitamin D levels were correlated with IBS patients' quality of life. The lead author of the study, Simon Tazzyman, M.D., hypothesized that vitamin D supplementation may improve IBS symptoms. Study results revealed that vitamin D supplementation significantly improved vitamin D levels in both the placebo and vitamin D supplementation arms. However, in this study, the two arms did not separate when it came to IBS symptoms' severity. The 2016 study was published in the BMJ Open Gastroenterology, an online-only, peer-reviewed open access gastroenterology journal, dedicated to publishing high-quality medical research from all disciplines and therapeutic areas of gastroenterology.

Role of Intestinal Malabsorption in IBSThe latest science indicates that gut mucosal barrier dysfunction and intestinal malabsorption is a root cause in IBS. This dysfunction is associated with reversible, low-grade inflammation, intestinal spasms, abdominal pain and bowel dysfunction.

"Dietary modification and gut-calming agents, such as peppermint oil, should help mitigate the intestinal malabsorption and provide relief from the accompanying IBS symptoms, such as abdominal pain, discomfort and/or bloating," said Michael S. Epstein, M.D., F.A.C.G., A.G.A.F., a leading gastroenterologist and Chief Medical Advisor for IM HealthScience®, the innovators of IBgard®. "However, care must be taken to ensure that exclusionary diets, if any, do not create their own nutritional imbalances."

Medical Support Grows For Peppermint Oil in the Management of IBS Among Children, Adolescents and AdultsA previous randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study, conducted by lead study author Robert M. Kline, Ph.D., entitled "Enteric-coated, pH-dependent peppermint oil capsules for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome in children,"4 and published in 2001 in The Journal of Pediatrics, showed important gut calming effects with peppermint oil in children and adolescents aged 8 to 17 years. The authors concluded that, "Peppermint oil reduced the pain associated with IBS….and [peppermint oil] should be considered for the treatment of moderate levels of pain in children with IBS." The Journal of Pediatrics is an international, peer-reviewed publication.

Additionally, the role of peppermint oil as a medical food in IBS in adults is well-established in the medical and scientific community.

IBgard®, a medical food specially formulated for the dietary management of IBS, was studied in a recent, pivotal, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, multi-center trial called IBSREST™ (Irritable Bowel Syndrome Reduction Evaluation and Safety Trial). Patients suffering from IBS-M and IBS-D were included in the study. The study findings were accepted and published in the February 2016 issue of Digestive Diseases and Sciences, a leading, peer-reviewed scientific journal. The data showed that IBgard® demonstrated a statistically significant reduction in the Total IBS Symptom Score (TISS) and abdominal pain in as early as 24 hours and at four weeks. The TISS represents a composite score of eight individual IBS symptoms. Currently, there are limited options for patients with IBS that offer effective and rapid relief, especially during a flare-up.

About Irritable Bowel SyndromeOne in six Americans experience Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), a frustrating, under-diagnosed and under-treated condition characterized by recurrent abdominal pain, often associated with alteration in stool frequency and/or form. Bloating is also a common symptom experienced by patients with IBS.

About IBgard®   IBgard® is a medical food specially formulated for the dietary management of IBS. IBgard® capsules contain solid state microspheres of peppermint oil, including its principal component l-Menthol, plus other ingredients to help normalize the lining of the gut. These include amino acids (from gelation protein) and fiber – all delivered via a unique delivery system.

With its patented Site Specific Targeting (SST®) technology, pioneered by IM HealthScience®, IBgard® capsules release Ultramen®, an ultra-purified peppermint oil, quickly and reliably to the small intestine, where its actions help manage IBS. The nutrients in IBgard® (peppermint oil along with amino acids [from gelation protein] and fiber) can help reduce the low-grade, reversible inflammation found in IBS and these are designed to help toward normalizing gut mucosal barrier function and intestinal malabsorption. Peppermint oil also has been shown to help normalize intestinal transit time. This, too, should help toward normalizing the absorption of nutrients.

Over 10,000 healthcare practitioners, including 3,000 gastroenterologists, are estimated to have already used IBgard® for their patients. In a recent nationwide survey of gastroenterologists, IBgard® was the number one recommended peppermint oil product for IBS for the second consecutive year by an overwhelming margin. Like all medical foods, IBgard® does not require a prescription, but it must be used under medical supervision. Only doctors can diagnose IBS. The usual adult dose of IBgard® is 1-2 capsules as needed, up to three times a day, not to exceed 8 capsules per day.

IBgard® is available to patients in the digestive aisle at most CVS/pharmacy, Walgreens and Rite Aid stores nationwide as well as independent drug stores and grocery stores across the country. It will be available in Walmart stores after April 2017.

About IM HealthScience®IM HealthScience® (IMH) is the innovator of IBgard® and FDgard® for the dietary management of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Functional Dyspepsia (FD), respectively. It is a privately held company based in Boca Raton, Florida. It was founded in 2010 by a team of highly experienced pharmaceutical research and development and management executives. The company is dedicated to developing products to address gastrointestinal issues where there is a high unmet need. The IM HealthScience® advantage comes from developing products based on its patented, targeted-delivery technologies called Site Specific Targeting (SST®). For more information, visit to learn about the company, or or

________________________________1 Nwosu, B.U., Maranda, L., & Candela, N. (2017). Vitamin D status in pediatric irritable bowel syndrome. Plos One, 12(2): e0172183. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0172183.  

2 Khayyat, Y., & Attar, S. (2015). Vitamin D Deficiency in Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Does It Exist? Oman Medical Journal, 30(2): 115-118. doi: 10.5001/omj.2015.25.

3 Tazzyman, S., Richards, N., Trueman, A.R., Evans, A.L., Grant, V.A., Garalova, I., … Corfe, B.M. (2015). Vitamin D associates with improved quality of life in participants with irritable bowel syndrome: outcomes from a pilot trial. BMJ: Open Gastroenterology, 2: 1-8, e000052. doi:10.1136/bmjgast-2015-000052.

4 Kline, R.M., Kline, J.J., DiPalma, J., & Barbero, G.J. (2001). Enteric-coated, ph-dependent peppermint oil capsules for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome in children. Journal of Pediatrics, 138: 125-128. doi: 10.1067/mpd. 2001.109606.

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SOURCE IM HealthScience

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