Vitamin D and Multiple Sclerosis

Last updated Oct. 12, 2022, by Lindsey Shapiro, PhD

Fact-checked by Ines Martins, PhD

FAQs about vitamin D and MS

Research has generally demonstrated that people with vitamin D deficiency have a greater risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS). People with more exposure to sunlight, who have a genetic predisposition to higher vitamin D levels, or who take vitamin D supplements are therefore more protected from developing MS at some point in their lives. There also seems to be a link between lower vitamin D levels and more disease activity in patients, but more research is needed to confirm this association.

Well-controlled clinical studies evaluating the link between multiple sclerosis (MS) progression and vitamin D are lacking. Existing studies suggest vitamin D supplements may reduce brain lesions, but their impact on disease progression and relapse rates remains controversial.

Evidence suggests vitamin D supplements may benefit multiple sclerosis patients, but the appropriate levels of vitamin D needed for a clinical benefit have not been established in controlled clinical studies. Patients should speak with their healthcare providers to determine if vitamin D supplements are appropriate for their particular case.

Vitamin D levels can be determined with a simple blood test that measures an inactive precursor of vitamin D, called 25-hydroxyvitamin D or calcidiol. This is considered the most accurate approach to determine how much vitamin D is present in the body.

There is no single diet universally recommended for people with multiple sclerosis (MS). Generally, it’s recommended patients eat a healthy and well-balanced diet that includes lots of fruits, vegetables, and grains, and avoids processed foods, sugars, and fats. This is thought to help ease some MS symptoms, such as fatigue, depression, and bowel issues.

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.

Related Articles



Envelope icon

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get regular updates to your inbox.