Taking supplements of vitamin D3 reduces symptoms of Crohn's disease, the inflammatory bowel condition, according to a small study.
It found, in 15 people given either a low dose (1,000 International Units) of the vitamin or a high dose (10,000IU), those given the high dose had less symptoms after six months.
The researchers, from Weill-Cornell Medical Centre in New York, concluded: "Our interim analysis suggests that supplementation with 10,000 IU of Vitamin D3 may be an effective adjunctive therapy for ameliorating symptoms in Crohn's disease patients."
The results were presented at the annual conference of the American College of Gastroenterology.
Crohn's disease affects about 120,000 people in Britain. Higher incidence rates are found in countries closer the poles, leading to the theory that lack of exposure to UV light - essential for our bodies to manufacture vitamin D - is a cause.
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