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Editorial: Vitamin D and IBD: Can We Get Over the “Causation” Hump?

Ananthakrishnan, Ashwin N MD, MPH1

American Journal of Gastroenterology: May 2016 - Volume 111 - Issue 5 - p 720–722
doi: 10.1038/ajg.2016.47

Vitamin D deficiency is common in patients with inflammatory bowel diseases and may even precede the disease onset contributing to an increased risk. Using comprehensive data from a large, referral IBD cohort, Kabbaniet al.establish that low vitamin D levels are associated with greater disease activity, increased risk of surgery and hospitalizations, and lower health-related quality of life in patients with IBD. This expands the evidence base supporting such an association. However, there is a need for this field to evolve to interventional studies with vitamin D supplementation to confirm that vitamin D has a true therapeutic role for treating disease activity in IBD.

1Division of Gastroenterology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Correspondence: Ashwin N. Ananthakrishnan, MD, MPH, Crohn’s and Colitis Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, 165 Cambridge Street, 9th Floor, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA. E-mail:

Guarantor of the article: Ashwin N. Ananthakrishnan, MD, MPH.

Specific author contributions: Ashwin N. Ananthakrishnan drafted the entire manuscript.

Financial support: Ashwin N. Ananthakrishnan is supported by funding from the US National Institutes of Health (K23 DK097142).

Potential competing interests: None.

© The American College of Gastroenterology 2016. All Rights Reserved.
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