Vitamin D is great for MS too?!
Taking vitamin D may be one of the best and easiest things
you can do to help prevent and treat Multiple sclerosis.
Multiple sclerosis is the most common neurological disease in young adults. The incidence has increased greatly over the last 1 -2 decades. Some say due to better diagnosis, some say due to increased rates. I think its a combination of both, maybe slightly more due to increased rates. . MS affects hundreds of thousand of people worldwide.
Learning what you can do to help yourself can make a huge difference in the outcome of the disease.
Some of the most notable studies that have recently been done suggest (strongly) that low levels of vitamin D are linked with an increased risk of MS. In addition, patients with low levels of vitamin D are more likely to have greater disability and more disease activity.
Much of the benefits of taking vitamin D revolve around the fact that vitamin D has an effect of reducing inflammatory markers, specifically T cells related to MS severity (IL-17+CD4+ and CD161+CD4+ cells).
At certain doses the effects of the vitamin D appeared to have somewhat of a linear effect on the inflammatory markers (up to a certain amount). In the study the subjects where given a base dose of 10,400 IU per day.
When the increase in the vitamin D levels in the blood over baseline level was greater than 18 ng/mol (45nmol/L), every additional 5 ng/ml (12.5 nmol/L) increase in vitamin D led to a 1% decrease in the percentage of the inflammatory T cells in the blood.
Thats pretty darn Good!
AND, THERE WERE NO REPORTED SIDE EFFECTS!
But, remember vitamin D is fat soluble and you can take too much. Each person is unique and needs different amounts. When taking high doses (therapeutic range), make sure you are monitored by a qualified medical professional.
Interleukin 17 is a pro-inflammatory cytokine produced by T-helper cells . IL-17 plays a critical role in host defense against bacterial and fungal infections, as well as in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases. It amplifies inflammation through a synergistic effect with other cytokines. IL-17 also plays a major role in other inflammatory autoimmune diseases such as RA (rheumatoid arthritis).
Vitamin D helps to block and suppress the over expression of IL-17 thus helping prevent and treat some of these inflammatory autoimmune diseases, particularly MS.
How much vitamin D should you take?
In short, it depends ;-) Every person is different and has a different starting point.
In the study mentioned above, the dosage that the patients took was 10,400 IU. I’m not exactly sure how they arrived at that number. But it worked.
Typically when you are taking high therapeutic levels we try to shoot for somewhere in the range of 40-80 ng/ml. This is a wide range. I will usually try to shoot for around 60-70 ng/ml.
It’s pretty safe taking a dose of 5,000 IU per day on a regular basis (This is what I will routinely put my patients on without too much concern of reaching the toxicity level of around 100 ng/ml).
Any higher than that I do not recommend without the supervision of a trained physician that can monitor you.
The main consequence of vitamin D toxicity is a buildup of calcium in your blood (hypercalcemia), which can cause poor appetite, nausea and vomiting. Weakness, frequent urination and kidney problems also may occur.
Here is a great quote about Vitamin D
Be healthy, be happy!
Dr. Craig Mortensen
Here are some of my favorite Vitamin D supplements I routinely use in my private practice.
As always, remember to consult with a qualified health care practitioner.