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Vitamin D improves gut health

Because vitamin D has many positive effects on the body, doctors wanted to study vitamin D and gut health. In this pilot study, 16 men and women took 445 IU of vitamin D per pound of body weight per week for the first four weeks (about 11,000 IU per day for a 175-pound person), then 222 IU per pound per week for the next four weeks (about 5,500 IU per day for a 175-pound person).

By the end of the study, vitamin D levels had increased by about 2.5 times, to 55.2 nanograms per milliliter of blood, an optimal level. After taking vitamin D, levels of disease-causing bacteria had declined, including H-pylori, a common cause of stomach ulcer. Bad bacteria tend to grow in an inflammatory environment, and vitamin D appeared to reduce inflammation. Discussing the findings, doctors said vitamin D regulates the environment—or “microbiome”—in the upper gastrointestinal tract of the gut, which may explain its positive effects on inflammatory bowel disease and bacterial infection.

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