Vitamin D is known to be vital in maintaining bone health, mineralisation and for fracture prevention. It has also been implicated in a number of autoimmune diseases and has therefore been studied for its potential role in Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). This review looks at the current literature on the role of vitamin D and its potential role as an immunomodulator, disease modifier and bone health in IBD patients. There is substantial supporting evidence of an important role from epidemiological, genetic and immunological studies, but there is also conflicting evidence and nothing proving to be definitive from clinical studies. There are also a number of confounders with IBD patients, as their lifestyles and medications may affect vitamin D levels. Murine studies have added vast amounts to our knowledge of vitamin D and its antimicrobial role, as well as its effect on immune cell proliferation other inflammatory molecules, such as Tumour Necrosis Factor-α (TNFα). It is clear that larger trials investigating the effects of oral supplementation of vitamin D in IBD patients are necessary.
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