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Vitamin D May Protect Against MS

There is new evidence supporting the idea that vitamin D helps prevent multiple sclerosis, but it is too soon to recommend taking the vitamin to lower your risk, researchers say.

Vitamin D and the Immune System continued...

William F. Finn, MD, who has been studying vitamin D for many years, agrees that large, randomized trials are needed to confirm the vitamin’s role in protecting against MS or any of these diseases.

But he says it is not too soon to recommend that people take vitamin D in supplement form.

Most multivitamins contain 400 IU of vitamin D, which has been thought to be a sufficient daily dosage. But Finn argues that most people need between 800 and 1,000 IU a day, especially in the winter when they are getting less of the vitamin from sun exposure.

He says blacks and other dark-skinned people may need even more than that.

Finn is a professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

"It is important to discuss this with your doctor, but I believe that most people could benefit from getting more vitamin D," he says. "Vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency is a very common problem in the United States."

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