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J Crohns Colitis. 2018 Jul 30;12(8):963-972. doi: 10.1093/ecco-jcc/jjy052.

The Effect of Vitamin D on Intestinal Inflammation and Faecal Microbiota in Patients with Ulcerative Colitis.

Garg M1,2,3, Hendy P3, Ding JN3,4, Shaw S5, Hold G5,6, Hart A3,7.

Author information

Department of Gastroenterology, Eastern Health, Victoria, Australia.
Eastern Health Clinical School, Monash University, Victoria, Australia.
St Mark's Hospital, Harrow, UK.
St Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne, Australia.
University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, UK.
Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.
Imperial College, London, UK.


Background and Aims:

Vitamin D may be immunomodulatory and alter faecal microbiota, but results from clinical studies in humans to date have been inconclusive. This study aimed to assess the effect of vitamin D replacement in vitamin D-deficient patients with and without ulcerative colitis [UC] on inflammation and faecal microbiota.


Vitamin D was replaced over 8 weeks in patients with active UC [defined by faecal calprotectin ≥ 100 µg/g], inactive UC [faecal calprotectin < 100 µg/g] and non-inflammatory bowel disease [IBD] controls with baseline serum 25[OH] vitamin D <50 nmol/l, and markers of inflammation and faecal microbiota were analysed.


Eight patients with active UC, nine with inactive UC and eight non-IBD controls received 40000 units cholecalciferol weekly for 8 weeks. Mean baseline 25[OH] vitamin D increased from 34 [range 12-49] to 111 [71-158] nmol/l [p < 0.001], with no difference across the groups [p = 0.32]. In patients with active UC, faecal calprotectin levels decreased from a median 275 to 111 µg/g [p = 0.02], platelet count decreased [mean 375 to 313 × 109/l, p = 0.03] and albumin increased [mean 43 to 45 g/l, p = 0.04]. These parameters did not change in patients with inactive UC or non-IBD controls. No changes in overall faecal bacterial diversity were noted although a significant increase in Enterobacteriaceae abundance was observed in patients with UC [p = 0.03].


Vitamin D supplementation was associated with reduced intestinal inflammation in patients with active UC, with a concomitant increase in Enterobacteriaceae but no change in overall faecal microbial diversity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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