Background: The body of biomedical literature on Vitamin D effector mechanisms
in gastrointestinal biology and pathophysiology is rapidly expanding. Accordingly,
new possibilities of vitamin D biology-based therapeutical intervention in gastroenterological
disease are being identified. However, the literature lacks a concise review on these developments,
hampering comprehension of the possibilities involved for many in the community.
Results: Genetic vitamin D receptor (VDR) polymorphisms and other VDR biology regulation
are involved in predisposition to gastrointestinal cancers and might allow tailored
strategies for managing those individuals especially at risk, e.g. through vitamin D supplementation.
Likewise, modulation of Hedgehog signaling by vitamin D analogues may have
promise in combating gastrointestinal cancers or improving barrier function in IBD, but
shortage in vitamin D levels may also influence inflammatory conditions of the gut through
direct interaction with the mucosal immune system. Evidence justifying population-wide
monitoring for vitamin D status is accumulating.
Conclusion: There is kaleidoscopic interaction of vitamin D biology with many aspects of
gastrointestinal tract biology. Vitamin D appears an attractive target for personalized approaches
like precision and P4 medicine.