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Vitamin D Often High in Crohn's Disease Patients

15 November, 2012

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ISLAMABAD: Contrary to expectations, people with the inflammatory bowel condition Crohn's disease are likely to have excessive levels of the active form of vitamin D in their blood, researchers have found. This is associated with low bone mineral density, they report.

Dr. Maria T. Abreu from the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles led the study. She told Reuters Health, "Most doctors think that Crohn's patients automatically have decreased vitamin D levels and encourage supplementation with vitamin D. We would like to urge doctors to check vitamin D levels before making that recommendation."

As Abreu's team explains in the medical journal Gut, under certain circumstances too much active vitamin D can actually contribute to the breakdown of bone, leading to osteoporosis.

The researchers found "inappropriately high" blood levels of the active form of vitamin D in 42 percent of the 138 people they studied with Crohn's disease. This was true of only 7 percent of 29 patients with ulcerative colitis, another type of inflammatory bowel disease.

Also, the higher the blood levels of active vitamin D in Crohn's patients, the lower was their bone density -- regardless of whether they were treated with steroids -- the investigators found.

"We believe that high vitamin D levels are most likely a manifestation of the underlying gut inflammation," Abreu said.

A high vitamin D level is "an additional risk factor predisposing to development of osteoporosis" for some Crohn's disease patients, the team concludes. Treatment of the underlying inflammation, "may improve metabolic bone disease."


Reader Comments:

Don't these people read the literature

High levels of the active form of vitamin d in the blood is a sign of vitamin d deficiency. When the levels of 25(OH)D in the blood drop (this is the storage form) the levels of 1,25(OH)D (the active form that controls blood calcium levels) rises. Treat the vitamin d deficiency and the levels of the active from in the blood will drop.

Pete, United Kingdom - 16 November, 2012

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