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.