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Probiotics Could Boost Vitamin D Levels, Study Reports

Update Date: Jun 21, 2013 03:41 PM EDT

Vitamin D, which is usually acquired through sun exposure, is vital for bone growth and health. Depending on where people live and the time of the year, some people might experience difficultly in getting enough Vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency could lead to osteoporosis and rickets, which is why vitamin supplements could be essential. A new study reported that taking probiotic supplements, which are used to promote a healthier digestive system, could also boost Vitamin D levels.

The researchers administered probiotic supplements to adult participants for nine weeks. The researchers recorded levels of Vitamin D by measure the levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in the blood. They found that the probiotic supplement had boosted Vitamin D levels by over 25 percent. This is the first study to find that probiotics could play a huge role in helping people maintain Vitamin D levels. Previous research had tied this particular strain of probiotic, Lactobacillus reuteri NCIMB 30242, in reducing cholesterol levels.

"This study is adding to the body of knowledge on the microbiome [the community of bacteria in the gut] command and its role in human health," the lead author of the study, Dr. Jones said. Jones is the chief scientific officer at the probiotic company, Micropharma Limited. "Although it has long been known that the gastrointestinal tract plays an active role in the absorption of Vitamin D, these findings showing improimproved Vitamin D status in response to an orally delivered probiotic are a first, and will inform the development of new products that may beneficial for people with low Vitamin D levels."

The study is available in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

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