sun 2According to research appearing in Pediatrics (2006; 118(5): 1950-61), there is a link between low vitamin D levels and the incidence of inflammatory bowel disease. The study involved 130 subjects who were between the ages of eight and 22, 94 with Crohn’s disease and 36 with ulcerative colitis. Vitamin D deficiency was present in 34.6% of the subjects. Serum vitamin D levels tended to be even lower in patients with dark skin. Also, the level of deficiency was related to the amount of inflammation present. Inflammation was measured by erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), which is a general test that indicates the presence of inflammation; a high ESR indicates inflammation. The ESR was inversely related to vitamin D levels.