Vitamin D deficiency is a common problem in patients with Crohn's disease. Researchers used a novel vitamin D bioavailability test to examine the ability of patients with quiescent Crohn's disease (CD) to absorb vitamin D(2). Study participants were comprised of 37 CD patients (51% female) and 10 control (50% female) with no recent exposure to vitamin D(2). After a baseline blood draw, subjects were given a a single 50,000 IU oral dose of vitamin D(2) in a capsule formulation and had their blood drawn 12 hours later to determine serum vitamin D(2) , which reflected their vitamin D(2) absorption capacity. While both control and CD subjects, on average, experienced a rise in vitamin D levels, the CD patients had on average a 30% decrease in their ability to absorb vitamin D(2) relative to control subjects. There was no statistical difference for Vitamin D(2) absorption in CD patients with regard to location of disease, whether or not they had received surgery, or the type of surgery received. More than 70% of the CD patients were vitamin D deficient or insufficient. This study found that the ability of CD patients to absorb vitamin D(2) is unpredictable. Their ability to absorb vitamin D(2) can be determined by performing a bioavailabilty test which may guide clinicians in administering the appropriate therapeutic dose of vitamin D for treating vitamin D deficiency in patients with CD.
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