IBS is a debilitating, painful condition that related to the functioning of the large intestine. Its symptoms include severe abdominal discomfort and pain, bloating, diarrhea or constipation. There is not enough known about what causes it, but it affects about 12% and 20% of the populations of the United States of America and United Kingdom respectively. Its triggers are widely accepted as being stress, hormones, or food choices.
Many people experience mild symptoms of IBS from time to time. Often sufferers are misdiagnosed because the condition is diagnosed by process of elimination as there is not a specific test for it. Others do not seek help because they self-medicate and do not realize that their symptoms make up a recognized condition.
Estimates are that 10-15% of the world’s population has some form of IBS, from mild to severe. The general demographic of acute IBS sufferers are under the age of 50, with about 60% being female and 40% being male.
Women undergoing estrogen therapy are also at risk. There are also genetic factors as those with a family history of IBS risk getting it. This gauges it as an opportunity for supplement brands!
Studies on The Effectiveness of Vitamin D on IBS
A recent study conducted at the University of Sheffield shows a definite link between increased Vitamin D intake and the easing of the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. IBS patients’ blood samples were analyzed, and researchers detected below average levels of Vitamin D in the blood.
In another study conducted at the Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences in Iran, 45 patients dosed with Vitamin D over a period of 6 months (50,000 IU on a fortnightly basis) reported relief of their symptoms when rated on the IBS Severity Score System (IBSSS). The researchers used this scoring system as a baseline test, and it was reviewed again after the study.
The IBSSS is a questionnaire that patients answer to determine what symptoms of IBS they experience and to what degree they encounter them. The 45 patients who had ingested the placebo reported no improvement in their IBS symptoms with their baseline IBSSS answers being mostly the same as their post-intervention answers.
Until recently, a lot of the treatment of the symptoms of IBS centered around dietary changes and medications to control diarrhea and constipation. The findings imply that Vitamin D supplements to raise levels of the ‘sunshine vitamin’ in the body of IBS sufferers may offer them some long-term relief. These studies indicate that Vitamin D intake can reduce the symptoms of the condition and improve the quality of the lives of sufferers.
Experts believe that Vitamin D plays an essential role in balancing the bacteria and microbes in the large intestine which are necessary for its optimal functioning.
While it is clear the research into the link between Vitamin D and improved quality of life for IBS sufferers is only at its early stages, there is the promise that further research will validate these findings.
Vitamin D is not found in significant levels in food, unlike its other vitamin counterparts. It is located in fatty fish, but other than that, the body is dependent on what Vitamin D is produced by the liver and kidneys.
Because our bodies differ, people produce different levels of Vitamin D, and a deficiency is not that uncommon. Another source of Vitamin D intake is sunshine.
Primary Functions of Vitamin D Supplements
Vitamin D helps the body to absorb calcium. Calcium is critical to the development of children’s bones and maintaining bone strength and density in adults. If children do not get enough calcium, they can get rickets (soft bones). If adults do not get enough calcium, they can get osteomalacia (brittle bones). This can happen even if there is enough calcium in the body because, without enough Vitamin D, the calcium cannot be absorbed.
A Vitamin D deficiency has also been linked to weight gain because a Vitamin D deficiency leads the sufferer to feel hungry all the time and unable to satiate their appetite. As a result, over-eating occurs leading to weight gain.
Some research has indicated a potential link between Vitamin D and hypertension. Lower levels of Vitamin D were accompanied by higher blood pressure levels and vice versa.
Low levels of Vitamin D gained from sunshine have been linked to mood disorders such as depression. This has led researchers to start exploring the link between low levels of Vitamin D and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and depression.
What is the Future of the Vitamin D Supplements?
With the link between Vitamin D and the relief of IBS and various other medical conditions becoming more apparent due to ongoing research, the future of the Vitamin D supplement is promising. Coupled with this is the fact that many people cannot produce a sufficient supply of Vitamin D on their own, which means that their only recourse is a Vitamin D supplement. Continued research and raised public awareness will only grow the market for Vitamin D supplements.
As indicated by the studies already done and which will be strengthened by further research, the levels of Vitamin D needed to combat IBS, and other conditions will not be reached by taking a multivitamin. This is due to the relatively low levels of Vitamin D in the average multivitamin which is not sufficient to bring about significant relief in patients.
Consequently, the importance of the standalone Vitamin D supplement should be elevated which means there is an excellent amount of potential for the market to grow exponentially over the coming years.
StockNutra’s Private Label Vitamin D Supplements
While most supplement producers have their own Vitamin D ranges, the range of products from StockNutra is competitively priced and offers good quality to the end user. The savings offered by the minimum 750 bottle order are lucrative and attractive and add value for money to these already well-priced products. This offers the retailer an opportunity for increased return on sales of StockNutra products.