What is the role of vitamin supplementation in the management of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)?

Updated: Oct 17, 2017
  • Author: William A Rowe, MD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

Multivitamin supplementation is recommended in patients with IBD. [1] For patients with vitamins B12 or vitamin D deficiency, supplementation of these vitamins should be given. The results of 2 studies suggest that the link between vitamin D and IBD may be of particular importance. [110, 111, 112]

In one of the studies, 3217 patients with Crohn disease or ulcerative colitis and low vitamin D levels had an increased risk of surgery and hospitalization. [111] Crohn disease patients with 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels lower than 20 ng/ml had an increased risk of surgery and IBD-related hospitalization than those with levels higher than 30 ng/ml. Similar estimates were seen for ulcerative colitis. In the other study, Crohn disease patients who took 2000 IU of vitamin D daily for 3 months gained muscle strength and improved quality of life. [112]

Patients receiving steroid therapy should receive vitamin D and calcium supplementation. Parenteral iron (IM weekly or IV) may be used in patients with chronic iron-deficiency anemia who are unable to tolerate the oral formulation. [1]


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