Inflammatory bowl diseaseTreatment

We found one reported randomized control of treating Crohn’s disease (CD) with vitamin D:

We performed a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial to assess the benefits of oral vitamin D3 treatment in Crohn’s disease. We included 108 patients with Crohn’s disease in remission, of which fourteen were excluded later. Patients were randomized to receive either 1200 IU vitamin D3 (n = 46) or placebo (n = 48) once daily during 12 months. The primary endpoint was clinical relapse.

RESULTS: Oral vitamin D3 treatment with 1200 IU daily increased serum 25OHD from mean 69 nmol/L [standard deviation (s.d.) 31 nmol/L] to mean 96 nmol/L (s.d. 27 nmol/L) after 3 months (P < 0.001). The relapse rate was lower among patients treated with vitamin D3 (6/46 or 13%) than among patients treated with placebo (14/48 or 29%), (P = 0.06)1

It should be noted that when those with Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are treated with thiopurine, they have an increased risk of nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC)2.

While the absolute risk of developing NMSC is reasonably small, those concerned about the risk should, if trying to obtain vitamin D from solar UVB irradiance, try to irradiate as much of the body as possible for a short period of time when one’s shadow is shorter than one’s height as that is when there is sufficient UVB to produce vitamin D. Alternatively, such people should seek to obtain most of their vitamin D from supplements of several thousand IU/day.

Page last edited: 06 May 2011


  1. Jorgensen, S. P. Agnholt, J. Glerup, H. Lyhne, S. Villadsen, G. E. Hvas, C. L. Bartels, L. E. Kelsen, J. Christensen, L. A. Dahlerup, J. F. Clinical trial: vitamin D3 treatment in Crohn’s disease – a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2010 Aug; 32 (3): 377-83.
  2. Long, M. D. Herfarth, H. H. Pipkin, C. A. Porter, C. Q. Sandler, R. S. Kappelman, M. D. Increased risk for non-melanoma skin cancer in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2010 Mar; 8 (3): 268-74.