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Vitamin D May Help Lessen MS Symptoms, Some Studies Suggest

Vitamin D May Help Lessen MS Symptoms, Some Studies Suggest

To grasp the connection between vitamin D and multiple sclerosis (MS), it is first important to understand this vitamin’s power. It is one of the “superhero” vitamins needed to help keep our bodies functioning properly.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, vitamin D is essential for us to absorb the calcium we need for strong bones and teeth. It also can block the release of the parathyroid hormone, which can produce soft or brittle bones by reabsorbing bone tissue.

The clinic also notes that vitamin D may aid muscle function and the body’s immune system, which is where the connection to MS comes into play. Because the immune system protects us against illnesses and diseases, it is important to keep it strong and healthy. Through sun exposure or by taking a vitamin D supplement, we can help maintain an adequate level of vitamin D in our systems. Your doctor can check vitamin D levels to make sure they are where they need to be.

According to the Mayo Clinic, “The link between vitamin D and MS is strengthened by the association between sunlight and the risk of MS. The farther away from the equator a person lives, the higher the risk of MS. Sunlight is the body’s most efficient source for vitamin D — suggesting that exposure to sunlight may offer protection from MS.”

Join the MS forums: an online community especially for patients with MS.

This shows the importance of vitamin D in avoiding MS, but how does it help when we already have it? My neurologist suggested soon after my MS diagnosis in 2010 that I start taking 5,000 IU daily of the supplement vitamin D-3.

The Mayo Clinic also highlighted studies by the Maastricht University in the Netherlands and others that found that vitamin D may lessen the frequency and severity of MS symptoms for those who already have it. However, the clinic stressed that more research is needed.

From different sources online, I have found that the most common form of vitamin D recommended for MS patients is vitamin D-3. The reason is that vitamin D-3 is thought to be more natural and readily absorbed into the system. It also is animal-based and has omega-3, which also has been found to be beneficial to MS.

I have read comments from people who are uncertain if taking vitamin D-3 actually helps them. Some say they don’t feel any different, and that their symptoms seem to remain the same. For me, I do seem to have a higher energy level when I consistently take my vitamin D-3. Overall, my symptoms seem better as well. I just need to remember to take it regularly.

Whether or not we feel better taking vitamin D-3 shouldn’t be the question we ask ourselves before deciding to add it to our MS regimen. The question should about what we have to lose. By following our doctors’ dosage recommendations, taking vitamin D-3 could be an added protection against MS.

Please join us in the vitamin D discussion in the MS forums!


Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.

Debi is a retired admissions and marketing director residing in Oregon. She is a mother of three grown children and has three grandchildren. She was diagnosed with PPMS in 2010. With her column, “Faith of the Mustard Seed,” she hopes to help and inspire others who are also dealing with MS.
Debi is a retired admissions and marketing director residing in Oregon. She is a mother of three grown children and has three grandchildren. She was diagnosed with PPMS in 2010. With her column, “Faith of the Mustard Seed,” she hopes to help and inspire others who are also dealing with MS.
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  1. RCG says:

    Vitamin D is not naturally cleared by the body. No one should add more unless blood tests show your level is low! Also, should be taken with the fattiest meal of the day.

    • Edward Hutchinson says:

      Vitamin D, cod liver oil, sunshine, and phototherapy: Safe, effective and forgotten tools for treating and curing tuberculosis infections – A comprehensive review. If you enter the DOI number of this paper 10.1016/j.jsbmb.2017.07.027 into the searchbar at you can learn that oral vitamin D in doses of 100,000-150,000 international units a day the 1940’s, and injectable vitamin D in the 1940’s were all shown to be able to safely treat tuberculosis. Nothing has happened in human evolution to suggest those amounts are not safe now. Indeed if you search online for Dr Coimbra Protocol you will find on facebook and you tube testimonials from happy MS patients using such amounts of vitamin d3 daily. The rules Dr Coimbra requires to keep is patients safe from hypercalcemia is to avoid calcium supplements and eliminate high calcium food sources (dairy) boost magnesium (natural calcium channel blocker) intake. He suggests up to 900mg daily elemental magnesium) and to drink lots of water daily 2.5 litres daily.

      • Debi Wilson says:

        Thanks for your comments, Edward! That is good information for people to ask their doctor as to what is right for them. Debi

      • Barry says:

        Hi All, I’m a MS patient, and I’m considering seriously to start coimbra protocol, they advise to take vit D 200k per day under docs supervision for 6 months and ms can be beaten pretty well if I do it, it is pity that we don’t do it in New Zealand.

  2. Tanase mariana says:

    Trebuie tinut vreun regim alimentar când luam vitamina D3 sau trebuie sa excludem vreu aliment din alimentație si trebuie băută multa apa cel puțin 2 l si eu nu pot

    • Debi Wilson says:

      Comment translation: A diet should be taken when we take vitamin D3 or we must exclude food from food and drink plenty of water at least 2 l and I can not
      Thank-you for sharing this information, Tanase! Best to you, Debi

  3. Lydia says:

    I’ve read that you need to keep your levels fairly
    High, and agree a blood test would be a helpful starting point. 15 minutes in the sun helps your body generate 10,000 units of Viramin D natural ly, and most people can
    Supplement with the help of the blood test. It’s highly encouraged that children of people with MS keep their levels high to help prevent getting the disease.

  4. Brenda says:

    My doctor said 4000 units. Now I’m confused. But I noticed that my MS was not progressing the same way as most of my friends. It seemed better when I was taking a higher dose but my neurologist freaked out.

    • Debi Wilson says:

      Hi Brenda, Maybe s second opinion would answer your question? Another doctor may have s different opinion on what’s best for you. Thanks for your comment, Debi

  5. Tammy says:

    I was taking Vitamin D 2000 units daily. My neurologist told me to take vitamin D 6000 units daily, after I was diagnosed with MS and blood work.

    • Debi Wilson says:

      Hi Jessica!
      Thank-you for sharing that information. I have read about taking vitamin K2 with vitamin D, it does seem like a good combo. But,It is always best to talk to your doctor about your situation and to have your D and K levels tested.

    • Debi Wilson says:

      Hi Bill,
      I take 5000 IU daily, it is best to check with your doctor on the dosage. That way you know what is right for you. Thank-you for your question, Debi

  6. Betty boo says:

    I took vitamin D and calcium as directed by my doctor. Then I moved to the sunny Caribbean. Now I get all I need naturally and have not had any flare ups except when I visit Washington State. More sun for better health.

  7. kathie stow says:

    im 55 have m.s also had colon cancer 19yrs ago my vitamin d is very low i started on 5000 units,,still very low so for next 3 months im on 50.000 units a week then 2000 a day so far have seen no difference so i hope as i go along it gets better since i always tired feel like my bones are on fire and my hair is getting very thin

  8. Girish says:

    This discussion was very informatory. This only brings to conclude that one must have the desired Vitamin D, on a regular basis.

  9. This is the perfect site for everyone who wishes to find out about this topic.
    You realize a whole lot its almost tough to argue with you (not that I actually would want to…HaHa).
    You definitely put a brand new spin on a subject which has been discussed for many years.

    Excellent stuff, just excellent!

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