Natural Health News — New research suggests that the daily supplementation of a probiotic may significantly boost vitamin D levels circulating in the blood.
We get most of our vitamin D from sun exposure – which is why it is sometimes called the ‘sunshine vitamin’. Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that aids the absorption of calcium and phosphate, which keep bones and teeth healthy.
A deficiency of vitamin D can cause rickets and other musculoskeletal diseases, but recent research also links vitamin D deficiency to some forms of cancer, autoimmune and infectious diseases, type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
The new study, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism claims to be the first human data to show a link between the supplementation of a probiotic and levels of vitamin D.
First human evidence
Commenting on the study lead author Dr Mitchell Jones, said:
“Although it has long been known that the gastrointestinal tract plays an active role in the absorption of vitamin D, these findings showing improved vitamin D status in response to an orally delivered probiotic are a first, and will inform the development of new products that may be beneficial for people with low vitamin D levels.”
Mitchell and his team analysed data from a placebo-controlled, randomised, multicentre trial involving 127 adult participants, who were randomly assigned to either a placebo or the L. reuteri NCIMB 30242 probiotic strain for nine weeks. The results showed that the probiotic group showed 25.5% higher levels of vitamin D in the blood stream.
The researchers suggested that if the probiotic strain was administered alongside a vitamin D supplement, they would see even greater increases in absorption levels.
Gut health is vital
A minor caution: the analysis was performed by a company, Micropharma Ltd, owned in part by French dairy company Danone, which makes probiotic supplements. However, its findings are certainly in line with previous research showing that a healthy gut can improve digestion and aid the absorption of nutrients.
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