Vitamin D May Help Those Suffering With Multiple Sclerosis
According to a study conducted by the American Academy of Neurology, those individuals suffering from Multiple Sclerosis (MS) can take vitamin D that may help regulate the hyperactive immune response. This was a pilot study and much more research needs to be conducted to understand more specific mechanisms and side effects, but the researchers are excited about the potential for vitamin D to be an inexpensive, safe, and convenient treatment for MS. The sample size was only 40 people which is one reason more studies on a larger group need to be done.
According to the study, low levels of vitamin D in the blood are tied to an increased risk of developing MS. People who have MS and low levels of vitamin D are more likely to have greater disability and more disease activity.
The study, which occurred over a period of six months, eliminated those individuals who had severely low vitamin D levels. The recommended amount of vitamin D is 600 international units. The participants were given either 800 or 10,400 international units. Participants taking the high dose of vitamin D reached optimal vitamin D levels for people with MS within the proposed target, whereas the group taking the low dose did not reach the target.
Side effects from the vitamin supplements were minor and were not different between the people taking the high dose and the people taking the low dose. One person in each group relapsed.
For more information, read the full study.