Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Multiple Sclerosis Health Center

Font Size

High Doses of Vitamin D Cut MS Relapses

Study Shows Vitamin D May Help Reduce Relapse Rate of Multiple Sclerosis

Vitamin D vs. Relapsing MS continued...

Vitamin D appears to suppress the autoimmune responses thought to cause MS, Burton says. In MS, haywire T lymphocytes -- the cellular "generals" of the immune system -- order attacks on the myelin sheaths that surround and protect the brain cells.

In people given high-dose vitamin D in the study, T cell activity dropped significantly. That didn't happen in people who took lower doses.

The researchers also measured the concentration of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D], also known as calcidiol, in the blood. The Institute of Medicine says that is the best indicator of a person's vitamin D status.

There's no ideal level, although concentrations of less than 50 nanomoles per liter of blood are considered inadequate for good health. In the study, it appeared MS patients did best if levels reached 100 nanomoles per liter, Burton says.

People with MS should talk to their doctors about whether they might benefit from vitamin D supplements, she says.

"Too much vitamin D can be harmful for people with certain medical conditions such as kidney disease," Burton says. "Also doctors can monitor your blood levels of 25(OH)D."

1|2

Today on WebMD

nerve damage
Learn how this disease affects the nervous system.
woman applying lotion
Ideas on how to boost your mood and self-esteem.
 
woman pondering
Get personalized treatment options.
man with hand over eye
Be on the lookout for these symptoms.
 
brain scan
ARTICLE
worried woman
ARTICLE
 
person writin in a notebook
ARTICLE
couple embracing
ARTICLE
 
man with cane
SLIDESHOW
skull and neck xray
ARTICLE
 
Stressed man
ARTICLE
doctor feeling patients neck
ASSESSMENT
 

WebMD Special Sections