Multiple Sclerosis And Vitamin D


There has been a lot of research lately on the connection between Multiple Sclerosis and vitamin D. Researchers have linked low levels to an increased risk of developing MS and possibly worsen the severity of MS in those already affected.

Vitamin D Sources

The best way to get vitamin D is from the sun, that’s why it’s called the sunshine vitamin but it’s not always possible to get enough from the sun. A few reasons more and more people are deficient is because:

  • Sunscreen. There has been a huge campaign about wearing sunscreen for protection from skin cancer, unfortunately, as people slather on the sunscreen it also decreases your skin’s ability to absorb vitamin D and causes more people to become deficient. Spend about 15 minutes in the early morning or late evening outdoors without sunscreen.
  • Sunlight. People are spending too much of their time indoors and not enough time outdoors if you’re stuck in an office all day or housebound. It’s important to make an effort to spend at least 15 minutes each day outdoors soaking up some rays, avoid the hottest time of the day to prevent from getting sunburned. If your heat intolerant, spend time outdoors in the cooler part of the day.
  • Location. People who live further away from the equator and don’t see the sun as often have a greater risk of developing MS.

Researchers are discovering the importance of how much Vitamin D is to those with MS. It not only plays an important role in bone health but also in the immune and nervous system. Many people with MS (pwMS) have a vitamin D deficiency. They also have a higher than average rate of Osteopenia and it’s severe form Osteoporosis which is thinning of the bones.

A 2012 research team from Finland discovered that taking vitamin D supplements significantly reduced the number of brain lesions. For those with MS, the bodies immune system attacks the protective covering surrounding the nerves of the central nervous system of the brain or spinal cord and leaving scars also known as lesions. At this time, researchers are still unclear as to how much vitamin D a person needs to prevent or treat MS.