The study authors added that Vitamin D from sun exposure theoretically plays a role in providing immunity to and regulating inflammatory response.
Further research might look into environmental pollution or infections as other possible explanations for regional differences in the incidence of IBD.
On a related note, the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America says that Vitamin D deficiency is common among Crohn’s patients and recommends looking into a Vitamin D supplement if your disease is active and if you live in a non-sunny area of the country. Check with your doctor first, however.
“Geographical variation and incidence of inflammatory bowel disease among US women” (abstract). Gut. Web. 23 Jan. 2012. http://gut.bmj.com/content/early/2012/01/03/gutjnl-2011-301574.abstract
Preidt, Robert. “Inflammatory Bowel Disease Less Common in Sunny States.” HealthDay. Web. 23 Jan. 2012. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_120737.html
Goodman, Brenda. “Climate Tied to Inflammatory Bowel Disease Risk.” WebMD. 23 Jan. 2012.
“About Crohn’s Disease.” Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America. Web. 23 Jan. 2012.
“About Ulcerative Colitis & Proctitis.” Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America. Web. 23 Jan. 2012.
“Diet and Nutrition.” Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America. Web. 23 Jan. 2012.
Reviewed January 24, 2012
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith