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Does Vitamin D Help Heal the Gut?

Does Vitamin D Help Heal the Gut?

Some cool info to share for those of you who are into learning something new! How about Vitamin D and the gut relationship for starters! Being paleo and a diagnosed celiac, gut health and how to heal the gut of course are topics I’ve had some time to learn about quite in-depth!

You’ve likely heard something about the importance of the balance of gut flora and its connection with infections and disease, particularly inflammatory bowel diseases, which are so prevalent these days. Right? Well, it is a vital subject of medical research and one we should get a tad bit educated on. One study published in the American Journal of Pathology shows that the vitamin D receptor is a “key player” in the functioning of gut flora. A receptor is like an open mail box in a portion of our cells.

I must interject and say If you are tired of hearing about gut flora to no result please learn more about SIBO and FODMAPS as well if you have spent too much time on this topic and gotten no result.

We have a largely mutually beneficial relationship with our gut’s flora, which is supposed to help keep “bad” bacteria in check, aid in digestion, and boost the immune system. Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York have been exploring the workings of gut flora and how they help keep “bad” bacteria in check. According to the study’s leading researcher, Jun Sun, “Our work suggests one possible mechanism, by working through the vitamin D receptor — a molecule that binds with vitamin D and controls a number of functions — a sensor and regulator for the majority of functions of vitamin D.”

In the study, Sun, an assistant professor in the Gastroenterology and Hepatology Division of the Department of Medicine, and her colleagues looked at the role of vitamin D receptors in the colons of mice and found that pathogenic microbial strains of Salmonella were more destructive in mice without vitamin D receptors. These mice had more inflammatory molecules, lost weight faster, and their risk of death was higher than in other mice.

Sun’s research is helping to clarify exactly how these gut microbes function in order to gain an understanding of disease prevention, which may be caused by inflammatory responses in the body affected by harmful bacterial invaders. This established link between vitamin D and its receptor with various diseases is a welcome clarification in this area, although much more research will be necessary.

Sun, who specializes in how the body’s bacteria behave and how their interactions contribute to disease, is showing how “bacteria often found in the human intestine affect molecular signals known to contribute to inflammatory response and cell growth,” according to the University of Rochester Medical Center’s website. This will help scientists investigating how bacteria are involved in developing inflammatory bowel diseases.

In my work as a researcher, writer, healthy food recipe developer and of course as a grain-free (paleo-ish) health advocate, I feel the importance of gut flora is necessary to share and understand broadly.

We can all do things that help to balance the gut flora and keep the inflammation down.

Prebiotics, probiotics and the plethora of incredible sites that also share recipes using cultures are another advantage we have. In fact, I’d like to share a paleo recipe with you that will provide you with home made probiotics from veggies!

In the meantime, I recommend that you consult with a qualified healthcare provider about creating a healthy microbial balance in your digestive tract. You should definitely learn more about SIBO and FODMAPS and if this seems like something that makes sense to your symptoms, by all means do yourself a favor and get these looked into.


United Press International: Key to Gut Functioning

From my kitchen to yours,

Tina Turbin

If you have any questions or suggestions just email me at Tina (at)

About Tina Turbin

I'm a cookbook-collecting, recipe-developing paleo junkie, and I live in the kitchen. I'm hooked on farmers' markets, traveling, eating healthy, and hiking until my legs scream at me. There's nothing better than hanging out with family and good friends. I have fun and sleeping is just plain boring. Read more About Tina Turbin.

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