Vitamin D and MS

Right now, we’re still learning about the role Vitamin D plays in MS.

And we still don’t know for sure if taking Vitamin D supplements for MS will actually help with managing MS, but we do know a lot of our community will tell you how much it has helped them.

In general, getting a good amount of Vitamin D is only going to do you good a deficiency is only going to exacerbate many issues.

Whilst we (shift.ms that is) can’t personally medically recommend Vitamin D, there’s always conversation in the ms community about just how helpful it’s been and potential issues with large doses of Vit D for MS.

angieH

Vitamin D

Hi! My neurologist suggested that I start on vitamin D 5000/day. I did and felt fine. It was about a week later I got these really sharp pains in my bladder/ low ab area and sharp pains when I urinated. I thought it was a uti but the culture was negative. Talking to my gyno today, she says perh…

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Why is Vitamin D linked to MS?

We know that there is an increased density of cases of MS the further you move away from the equator, researchers have over the years become increasingly interested in the connection between sunlight and MS. And due to the nature of Vitamin D being produced naturally by our skin in sunlight, it may not be the sun itself, but that Vitamin D has connections to MS.

The core areas of study at the moment seem to be around, whether vitamin D can treat MS or whether Vitamin D can prevent MS.


Can Vitamin D treat MS?

There’s a lot of questions here that unfortunately we still don’t have concrete answers to, but studies are ongoing.

Excluding the obvious big question of whether or not MS can be treated with vitamin D, there are others including whether or not Vitamin D will be helpful for all types of MS, what doses of Vitamin D will be needed to treat MS and if the normal recommended maximum intake of 4000 IU (100mcg*) set by the european food safety authority applies. Keeping in mind too much Vitamin D can cause side effects like nausea, confusion and even kidney stones.


Vitamin D MS Trials So Far

It should be noted, before we go any further, that most of the studies conducted so far have had mixed results and contained relatively small samples sizes.

One trial has shown that patients with higher levels of vitamin D were less likely to suffer MS relapses or have increased lesions in MRI scans.

Another 2015 study showed that high doses of Vit D killed certain immune cells known to cause damage in MS patients.

In 2012 a Finnish study showed that vitamin D consumption reduced legion growth in patients currently taking beta interferon.

In 2015 Vitamin D was seen to have a role in Myelin repair in the brains of rats, boosting myelin producing cells by 80%.

In 2016 scientists showed that babies born with low levels of Vit D were more likely to develop MS later in life. This ties into another study which shows the month you were born can increase your risk of MS (possibly due to sunlight exposure and vit d production during pregnancy.

In 2015 a study in sweden suggested low exposure to sunlight in teenagers and children could also increase the risks of MS, suggesting low levels of Vitamin D during those years. And thus further implying the link between vitamin D deficiency and MS.

Another 2015 study showed that people with low levels of vitamin D due to genetic reasons were also more likely to be at risk of MS.

There are currently many ongoing trials for MS and vitamin D and we’ll update this section as and when new results come out.


Should you take Vitamin D For MS?

Well, having good vitamin D levels are important in general so if your levels are low, a supplement is only going to do you good. You should however consult with your doctor before taking large amounts or if you think you’re Vit D deficient. Remember, right now we don’t actually know if Vitamin D treats MS, although, current studies do suggest that MSers may find Vitamin D to be very important.

Keep in mind the UK government says everyone in should take a Vitamin D supplement so if you’re in a particularly northern country with low sunlight it’s likely you could do with taking one anyway.