Published on April 9, 2021

Video Friday: A brief review of studies shows how vitamin D can lead to healthier gut bacteria, healing of the gut, and improvement of digestive symptoms and IBS

It’s Video Friday! Today we feature a video by Dr. Michael Ruscio, DNM, DC showing how recent evidence is suggesting that vitamin D can help reduce inflammation in and heal your gut. This can lead to a healthier microbiota (world of bacteria in your gut). Importantly, these changes lead to improvement of digestive symptoms as seen in IBS; bloating, abdominal pain and altered bowels.

Please take a moment to watch and share the video along with our detailed information below.

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After watching the video, be sure to make note of our added details below.

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Vitamin D, the Microbiome, Inflammation and Gut Health

Here is a quick summary of what this video discusses, along with additional information and details about vitamin D:

  • Inflammation in the gut allows unhealthy bacteria to grow, while inhibiting the growth of healthy bacteria. Healing the gut leads to increased numbers of healthier bacteria, which leads to improvement of digestive symptoms and IBS.
  • Vitamin D and sunshine have been shown to improve gut health, improve the diversity and richness of the microbiota, and protect the gut by influencing immune cell function and regulating inflammation.
  • A study by Kanhere et al. showed that vitamin D insufficiency was associated with alterations in microbiota composition that promoted inflammation, and supplementation with vitamin D had a positive impact on the microbiota composition.
  • Recent evidence also shows that vitamin D acts to maintain the integrity of the gut mucosal barrier by enhancing the intercellular junctions that control mucosal permeability and reducing pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-8. Maintenance of sufficient vitamin D status may be essential for the development of a healthy gut microbiota, particularly in conditions defined by chronic mucosal inflammation.
  • The role of vitamin D in the maintenance of immune homeostasis seems to occur in part by interacting with the gut microbiota, decreasing leaky gut, improving gut function and the gut barrier, and benefiting healthier gut bacteria.
  • Vitamin D level has been inversely associated with healthy bifidobacterium (there is a positive impact of vitamin D on bifidobacterium levels).
  • A study by Abbasnezhad et al. titled Effect of vitamin D on gastrointestinal symptoms and health-related quality of life in irritable bowel syndrome patients: a randomized double-blind clinical trial found that supplementing with vitamin D improved IBS symptoms compared to placebo.
  • Overall, maintaining healthy levels of vitamin D may lead to an improvement in health, wellbeing and digestive symptoms.
  • Healthy sun exposure is a great way to increase vitamin D levels for individuals with digestive issues, and can lead to additional health benefits beyond vitamin D production – it is important to get safe sun exposure!
  • Vitamin D deficiency is a major public health concern. Each individual can only produce enough vitamin D if getting enough sunlight or getting enough vitamin D from a dietary/supplement form. If you do not go out in the sun, if you use sunscreen or if you have higher amounts of melanin (darker skin pigmentation), then you require a vitamin D supplement to provide adequate amounts of vitamin D to your body.
  • To determine how much vitamin D supplementation might be needed, it is important to know where your level is at currently and what target level is desired. Using these two values, the D*calculator provides two options for increasing vitamin D levels – a “Loading Dose” and a “Maintenance Dose” allowing users to choose how quickly they would like to achieve their desired levels.

Are You Getting Enough Vitamin D for Your Health?

With almost 90% of the general population having vitamin D levels below the recommended 40-60 ng/ml (100-150 nmol/L), it is obvious that most people need more vitamin D. While most of us cannot achieve a vitamin D level of 40-60 ng/ml from sun alone, either due to our lifestyle, where we live, or other circumstances, we can certainly reach those levels with the right amount of supplementation.

Below is a guide for how much you might need, and who may need more. Your levels can be tested safely at home – order your home test kit today.

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By joining the GrassrootsHealth projects, you are not only contributing valuable information to our study, but you are also gaining knowledge about how you could improve your own health through measuring and tracking your nutrient status, and educating yourself on how to improve it. Do you know what your status of vitamin D, omega-3s, and other essential nutrients is? Could your levels be improved? Test now to find out!

We now have a NEW GIFTING SERVICE that allows you to quickly send ‘Gift Cards’ to friends, family and coworkers who you consider might need immediate access to testing, and to Claim the Joy of Your Health TODAY. Give the gift today!

What does the Research Say about Vitamin D & COVID-19?

It’s TIME to start saving lives! If you can help PREVENT the majority of the death, it’s time! What’s it costing you/us not to take action NOW?

There is much published research that supports a clear link between vitamin D and COVID-19 showing that higher vitamin D levels are related to:

a decreased risk of testing positive for COVID-19

increased viral SARS-CoV-2 RNA clearance

better clinical outcomes among patients with COVID-19

less severe COVID-19 disease

decreased risk of death due to COVID-19

Be sure to educate yourself on the benefits and importance of vitamin D for immune health, and take steps to ensure you and your loved ones are getting enough.

You can review all of the COVID-19 and immune health information we have shared on this page.

What Does it Take YOU to Get Your D to 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L)?

Did you know your health could be greatly affected by making sure you have a vitamin D level of at least 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L)? Help us help you.

STEP 1 - Do you know what your vitamin D level is? If not, be sure to test today to find out.

STEP 2 – Determine your target level. Are you at your target level? Experts recommend a level of at least 40-60 ng/ml (100-150 nmol/L).

STEP 3 – Need to boost your level? Use the D*calculator to see how much vitamin D it may take to reach your target. Opt for the Loading Dose for a quicker boost.

STEP 4 – Optimize how your body absorbs and utilizes vitamin D with co-nutrients and these simple steps.

STEP 5 – Re-Test! This is an important step to make sure you have reached your target level, and to ensure you are not taking too much! Re-testing after 3-4 months is recommended.

STEP 6 – Adjust, Repeat…

Give your immune system the nutrients it needs to support a healthy you and protect yourself from unnecessary diseases, especially COVID-19.


The first Randomized Controlled Trial on vitamin D and COVID-19 has shown a 96% lower risk of ICU admission for those receiving vitamin D (as 25(OH)D to quickly boost vitamin D blood levels) along with the standard treatment, compared to those receiving standard treatment alone.

These results support many previous observational studies showing a relationship between vitamin D levels and intake and COVID-19 severity.

Review the Latest Nutrient Research for COVID-19

GrassrootsHealth Nutrient Research Institute has launched the new Immune Boost project with the use of our myData-myAnswers nutrient health system that nearly 15,000 people are already using for their health. Specific markers that influence immune health are suggested for testing as part of this project including:

  • Vitamin D
  • Omega-3 Index
  • Essential elements magnesium, selenium, and zinc
  • hsCRP

Our goal is to demonstrate how one can use the Nutrient Research Model established by Dr. Robert Heaney to show the effect of vitamin D serum levels of at least 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L) on risk reduction for all ethnicities in the population. Status and intake of other nutrients will also be analyzed for any type of relationship to immune status and symptom severity. Join the project today!

Please let us know if you're interested in helping sponsor this project.

CLICK HERE for updates and new information about the project.

Through GrassrootsHealth Nutrient Research Institute, you can also test your essential elements magnesium, copper, zinc and selenium, toxins such as lead, mercury and cadmium, as well as your omega-3 levels, inflammation levels and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) level. Find out your levels today! Log on to the test selection page (click the link below) to get your tests and see for yourself if your levels can be improved.

Make sure you track your results before and after, about every 6 months!

Click Here to Access the Test Page

How can I track my nutrient intake and levels over time?

To help you track your supplement use and nutrient levels, GrassrootsHealth has created the Personal Health Nutrient Decision System called

For each specific supplement, you can track what days you take it, how much, and many other details.  This will help you know your true supplemental intake and what patterns of use work for you to reach and maintain optimum nutrient levels. Check it out today!