Irritable bowel syndrome – also known as IBS – is one of the most common diseases in the Western world. According to a new study from the University of Sheffield, England, many IBS patients lack vitamin D, and vitamin D supplements can alleviate symptoms like abdominal bloating, stomach cramps, diarrhea, and constipation. This is because vitamin D has a number of functions that are relevant for the digestion. Science generally knows very little about what triggers IBS, but it is accepted that disturbances in the intestinal microflora, food intolerance, and stress may contribute to the problem.
- and vice versa
All the different B vitamins are of vital importance to our energy levels, nervous system, skin, hair, and health in general. Our daily diet is the primary source of the vitamins but the intestinal flora is able to synthesize, consume, and compete for vitamin B in the host. Interactions between the body and the gut flora is therefore important for how we absorb and utilize the different B vitamins. On the other hand, lack of B vitamins or supplementation with B vitamins can also affect our gut flora, according to a review article that is published in Frontiers in Nutrition.
- and for the prevention of allergies and inflammation
Every day, the intestinal immune system has to defend itself against hordes of microbes and toxins. If it fails to function optimally, there is an increased risk of infections, allergies, and inflammatory diseases. More and more research reveals that essential nutrients help to control the intestinal immune defense. Also, new research shows how important a well-functioning immune system is for our digestion and health in general. This article takes a closer look at the vitamins that are known to be particularly important for the intestinal immune system. Another thing that is vital is to have adequate amounts of gastric juice.
Biotin, one of the B vitamins, is essential for numerous metabolic processes, and a biotin deficiency may be associated with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). According to a new study that is published in Nutrients, a biotin deficiency can also have a negative impact on the intestinal flora and result in a suppression of symbiotic bacteria and a replication of harmful, dysbiotic bacteria. The scientists say that a disrupted gut flora caused by a biotin deficiency may contribute to inflammatory bowel disorders.
Magnesium is involved in hundreds of different enzyme processes in the body, including ones that are important for our digestion. Magnesium is found in various compounds, and it has been known for a long time that magnesium oxide has a laxative effect. Because this particular magnesium compound only works locally in the intestine, it is difficult for the body to absorb it and is therefore not suited for supplementation if you want to correct a magnesium deficiency. In this article, we will look closer at dietary magnesium, the absorbability of different magnesium compounds, and magnesium’s role in our digestion and nervous system, which are closely related. We will also look at other symptoms that may be caused by a magnesium deficiency.
A recently published study shows promising results of giving daily supplements of vitamin D to sufferers of Crohn's disease. Apparently, the vitamin improves the intestinal barrier dysfunction associated with the ailment.
- a condition that may cause a variety of different symptoms
It appears that an increasing number of people suffer from some kind of milk allergy. Science is primarily focused on lactose intolerance, a condition that is caused by a deficiency of a digestive enzyme. The allergic reactions normally show almost immediately after ingesting dairy products. Allergy as such occurs when the immune system overreacts to various milk proteins. The allergic reactions occur in many different places in the body, and several days may pass before the symptoms are noticed. Now, researchers from the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna have demonstrated how animal feed that is enriched with vitamin A may prevent allergic reactions caused by milk protein. It also seems that the quality of milk has changed, and that in itself may be a contributing factor to hypersensitivity.