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Eur J Nutr. 2018 Oct 15. doi: 10.1007/s00394-018-1842-7. [Epub ahead of print]

Vitamin D and the gut microbiome: a systematic review of in vivo studies.

Author information

1
Population Health Department, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Brisbane, Australia.
2
Faculty of Medicine, The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute, Translational Research Instititute, Brisbane, Australia.
3
School of Public Health, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.
4
Population Health Department, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Brisbane, Australia. Rachel.Neale@qimrberghofer.edu.au.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Variation in the human microbiome has been linked with a variety of physiological functions, including immune regulation and metabolism and biosynthesis of vitamins, hormones, and neurotransmitters. Evidence for extraskeletal effects of vitamin D has been accruing and it has been suggested that the effect of vitamin D on health is partially mediated through the microbiome. We aimed to critically evaluate the evidence linking vitamin D and the gastrointestinal microbiome.

METHODS:

We systematically searched the Embase, Web of Science, PubMed and CINAHL databases, including peer-reviewed publications that reported an association between a measure of vitamin D and the gastrointestinal microbiome in humans or experimental animals.

RESULTS:

We included 10 mouse and 14 human studies. Mouse studies compared mice fed diets containing different levels of vitamin D (usually high versus low), or vitamin D receptor knockout or Cyp27B1 knockout with wild-type mice. Five mouse studies reported an increase in Bacteroidetes (or taxa within that phylum) in the low vitamin D diet or gene knockout group. Human studies were predominantly observational; all but two of the included studies found some association between vitamin D and the gut microbiome, but the nature of differences observed varied across studies.

CONCLUSIONS:

Despite substantial heterogeneity, we found evidence to support the hypothesis that vitamin D influences the composition of the gastrointestinal microbiome. However, the research is limited, having been conducted either in mice or in mostly small, selected human populations. Future research in larger population-based studies is needed to fully understand the extent to which vitamin D modulates the microbiome.

KEYWORDS:

Gut microbiota; Microbiome; Systematic review; Vitamin D

PMID:
30324342
DOI:
10.1007/s00394-018-1842-7

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