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Dig Dis. 2016;34(1-2):105-11. doi: 10.1159/000443012. Epub 2016 Mar 16.

Iron Deficiency, Zinc, Magnesium, Vitamin Deficiencies in Crohn's Disease: Substitute or Not?

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Evangelisches Krankenhaus Kalk, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany.


Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is characterized by inflammatory reactions, complications, extraintestinal manifestations and a loss of intestinal functions, for example, failures of absorption and secretion. According to intestinal dysfunction, a wide array of pathogenetic pathways is existing leading to iron deficiency and numerous vitamins as well as trace element deficiencies. Complications, symptoms and signs of those deficiencies are common in IBD with varying degrees of clinical significance. This review focuses on selected micronutrients including iron, zinc, magnesium and some vitamins. Epidemiology with respect to IBD, pathophysiology, diagnosis and clinical aspects are addressed. Finally, some suggestions for treatment of deficient situations are discussed. In conclusion, some micronutrients have significant impact on complications and quality of life in IBD. Deficiencies may even influence the course of the disease. Those deficiencies should be thoroughly supplemented.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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