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Might vitamin D therapy help individuals with Crohns disease?

Discussion in 'The Gut: De Meirleir & Maes; H2S; Leaky Gut' started by Rosemary, Jun 11, 2010.

  1. Rosemary

    Rosemary Senior Member

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    Crohns disease is what is known as an inflammatory bowel disorder (the other major inflammatory bowel disorder is ulcerative colitis). The inflammation in Crohns can affect any part of the gut (from the lips to the anus), and common symptoms include abdominal pain, bloating and diarrhoea which can be bloody. The conventional approach to this condition is to treat with anit-inflammatory drugs and as well as those that the suppress the immune system including steroids. Sometimes, Crohns disease can lead to narrowing (stricture) in the gut. Its not uncommon for sufferers to undergo surgery to remove narrowed or badly affects parts of the gut.

    Back in January I became aware of research linking Crohns disease with vitamin D deficiency [1]. A group of scientists at McGill University and the Universit de Montral (both in Montreal). Vitamin D was found to act directly on a gene (the beta defensin 2 gene), which is implicated in the development of Crohns disease. If youd like more details about this article, you can read about it here.
    http://www.drbriffa.com/blog/2010/0...therapy-help-individuals-with-crohns-disease/
  2. girlinthesnow

    girlinthesnow Senior Member

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    Rosemary,

    http://gut.bmj.com/content/58/8/1152.abstract

    I found this when doing a search on TH-17
  3. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

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    That's very interesting Rosemary and GirlintheSnow. Vitamin D deficiency has been implicated in a lot of illnesses/disorders, including CFS, fibro, IBS, heart disease, cancer, etc., etc.. I posted a study that showed that higher levels of 'd' decreased HIV infection rates via mother to child transmission.

    Rosemary -- I'm wondering if you've have a CDSA Panel (like from Meridian Valley or Metametrix)? That can show sometimes severe bacterial imbalances, infections, etc., which may be the true causes of Crohn's, IBS, intestinal permeability, etc. Anti-imflammatory drugs and steroids treat the symptoms, but might not address the causes...???

    But that reminds me too...I believe vitamin D reduces CRP levels (a marker of inflammation)...so in addition to it's immune modulating effects, that might also explain the benefits in gut issues..............?

    Dan
  4. Rosemary

    Rosemary Senior Member

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    Hi girlinthesnow and Dan...Thanks for your feedback

    My son has a neurodegenerative condition and he has suffered from GI problems including gluten allergy, malabsorption, maldigestion and he has had severe problems with bacterial infections
    I am therefore really interested in Dr White's Vit D deficiency and Crohns disease link findings, as Dr White says Quote "Both Beta-defensin and NOD2 have been linked to Crohn's disease. If NOD2 is deficient or defective, it cannot combat invaders in the intestinal tract. "

    plus he also says " It's a defect in innate immune handling of intestinal bacteria that leads to an inflammatory response that may lead to an autoimmune condition,"

    What Vitamin D does

    Dr. White and his team found that Vitamin D acts directly on the beta defensin 2 gene, which encodes an antimicrobial peptide, and the NOD2 gene that alerts cells to the presence of invading microbes. Both Beta-defensin and NOD2 have been linked to Crohn's disease.
    If NOD2 is deficient or defective, it cannot combat invaders in the intestinal tract.

    So for interest here is some information about the normal function of NOD2

    The NOD2 gene provides instructions for making a protein called nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain containing 2. This protein is active in some types of immune system cells (such as monocytes, macrophages, and dendritic cells), which help protect the body against foreign invaders such as viruses and bacteria. The NOD2 protein is also active in several types of epithelial cells, including Paneth cells, which are found in the lining of the intestine. These cells play an important role in defending the intestinal wall against bacterial infection.

    Many types of bacteria commonly live in the digestive system. Most of them are harmless, such as bacteria in the intestine that normally help digest food. Other bacteria, however, can infect the body and cause disease. The NOD2 protein is involved in recognizing certain bacteria in the intestine and stimulating the immune system to respond properly. When triggered by specific substances produced by bacteria, the NOD2 protein activates a protein complex called nuclear factor-kappa-B. This protein complex regulates the activity of multiple genes, including genes that control immune responses and inflammatory reactions. By activating nuclear factor-kappa-B, the NOD2 protein helps protect the digestive tract from bacterial invasion.

    How are changes in the NOD2 gene related to health conditions?

    Crohn disease - increased risk from variations of the NOD2 gene
    Several studies have suggested that changes in the NOD2 gene prevent the protein from recognizing bacteria, allowing these microbes to grow unchecked and invade cells lining the intestine. An abnormal immune response to these bacteria may lead to chronic inflammation and the digestive problems characteristic of Crohn disease.

    Vitamin D Supplements Could Fight Crohn's Disease
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100127104904.htm

    NOD2
    http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/gene/NOD2
  5. muffin

    muffin Senior Member

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    I was tested for D3 levels last year and put on the medical amount of 50K units once a week for several months to get my D3 levels up to normal from very low. I also have been diagnosed with Crohn's and always had severe GI issues going way back to early childhood. My recent colonoscopy showed NO inflammation (current or in the biopsies). How was this possible? Maybe taking the D3 might have reduced the inflammation. I am also taking Valtrex and have no clue if that med played into the lack of any inflammation in the GI tract. I would be the typical person to have low D3 levels since I was born/raised in the cold, sunless North where they see higher levels of MS than in the Southern climes/Lats. I also have a verified sun allergy and have not been out in the sun in a good 20 years. I get that wild red rash that sticks around for 2 to 3 MONTHS, then goes away without tanning or flaking. The Derm said I had an allergic reaction to the sun and that was not as uncommon as one would think. So even living in a more Southern environment I still avoid the sun and the D3 that I would get IF I could tolerate the sun for even a few minutes.

    Now I am trying to get my doctor to say that I do NOT have Crohn's since there was no inflammation current or past. She won't do it but no inflammation? All of my previous colonoscopies would show previous inflammation in the biopsies, going back decades. Go figure this one out since I certainly can not.

    I may just continue to take the 50K/week D3 on my own as a "just in case". D3 is toxic but I think for me, taking the 50K once a week or every other week would be safe.
    Now there was an odd red area in the colon that my doctor wants me to have another fecal test done on and blood work since it may be an infection - or irritation from the prep. I will do the blood work/fecal test because I am curious IF this is an infection in the colon. The GI doctor was a bit perplexed by that red area and I was awake and alert and saw how large that red area was. Again, who knows when you have the "Fun Loving CFIDS Disease".
  6. girlinthesnow

    girlinthesnow Senior Member

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    Rosemary,

    The strongest evidence from Canada is not for Vitamin D but for fish oil, omega 3 oils. The highest incidence of Crohn's disease in Canada is where there is an extremely high level of sunlight THROUGHOUT THE YEAR, an average of 6.5 hours of BRIGHT sunshine. In the UK

    Average Conditions (from BBC website)

    London, United Kingdom

    Month Average Sunlight (hours) T
    Average Record
    Min Max

    Jan 1 2
    Feb 2 2
    Mar 4
    April 5
    May 6
    June 7
    July 6
    Aug 6
    Sept 5
    Oct 3
    Nov 2
    Dec 1

    There is however a shortage of oily fish and other sources of omega 3 oils. Most of the population lives many hundreds of miles from the arctic ocean and many thousands of miles from the Atlantic or Pacific ocean. People do not eat oily fish from the time they are born until they travel elsewhere.

    It's an interesting area.
  7. muffin

    muffin Senior Member

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    GOOD CATCH ON THE OMEGA 3 - Does make sense

    The strongest evidence from Canada is not for Vitamin D but for fish oil, omega 3 oils. The highest incidence of Crohn's disease in Canada is in my home province of Manitoba where there is an extremely high level of sunlight THROUGHOUT THE YEAR, an average of 6.5 hours of BRIGHT sunshine.

    This is rather interesting. Fish oil (Omega 3) does reduce inflammation. I forgot about that one. I take fish oil when I remember and give it to my dogs and cats as well. Never mind that the dog's/cat's coats gleam, one dog's joints seem to be acting normal and she is not limping anymore.

    Maybe it is the Omega 3 that reduced my crohn's inflammation and NOT the D3. Or, maybe it is a combination of both.

    Good catch on the Omega 3 issue and the amount of sun (D3) possibly NOT playing into MS, inflammation, other conditions blamed on low D3.
  8. girlinthesnow

    girlinthesnow Senior Member

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    Hi Muffin,

    Not sure where you are, US? UK?

    But American mid-westerners don't seem to eat much oily fish, has to come too far. I could see a logic to the D3 connection in the UK as it is a long way north compared to southern Canada , or any part of the US apart from Alaska, where they eat alot of salmon. So I think you are probably right, Vitamin D and omega 3 oils both play a role. Another thought, traditionally in the UK most people ate cold water white fish like cod rather than oily fish like salmon.
  9. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

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    So complicated... :)

    Omega 3's can definitely be a part of the picture, but there are many reports of people who live in say Florida for example -- a very sunny state all year round -- who still have low levels of vitamin D. (Also keep in mind that some sources of omega 3's may have mercury or other heavy metal contamination.)

    There are also reports of folks taking higher levels of supplemental vitamin D -- sometimes 4,000ius and above -- whose levels still don't bump up too much, suggesting that they may have absorption issues and/or their body just needs more perhaps because their immune function, etc., is so poor and may require more overall.

    The best way to figure out if perhaps it could be an issue is to get your 25,d levels tested.

    Like everything with this disease/syndrome...it's so complicated, and what works or helps someone, may not necessarily help someone else. :(
  10. muffin

    muffin Senior Member

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    Omega 3 Fish Oil - Jury is OUT on helping reduce inflammation from IBD

    I just googled and searched to see what studies are out there on the efficacy of Omega 3 on Crohn's. I saw studies that said Omega 3 had no impact on Crohn's and I saw studies that said that Omega 3 DID help Crohn's. So, the jury is out. However, if YOU think that something is helping your symptoms, then go ahead and use it. I plan to continue taking Fish Oil (Omega 3) and Vitamin D3 since neither in moderation will hurt me. I am aware of the Mercury in some Fish Oil products so I have gone looking for Fish Oil that says it doesn't have Mercury in it. But, as usual, how am I to really KNOW that their marketing statements are true? Always the issue with anything.

    Those with dark skin (e.g., African Americans, etc) have higher rates of skin cancer due to the skin's inability to absorb the D3 from the sun. As usual, I have not been able to find numbers on skin cancer rates (or cancer rates generally, or MS, etc) for dark skinned peoples that may help with the D3 association to cancers, immune disorders, etc. It's just part of the "let's concentrate on the white male and ignore women and minorities" mind set that researchers have had for eons.

    I'm just going to keep taking the D3, Omega 3 and Magnesium/Malic Acid -- and B Vitamins when I remember. Who knows with such a complicated disease as CFIDS. Plus, throw in the genetics that they know and don't yet know about and the picture becomes even more cloudy.

    I really hate this disease. Did I say that today? I REALLY HATE THIS DAMN DISEASE!!!

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