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Low vitamin D doses may be effective in treating multiple sclerosis

October 28, 2011

High-dose vitamin D treatment of multiple sclerosis seems to not have any added benefit over low-dose vitamin D supplementation, suggests a new Australian study.

In the randomized controlled trial, 23 people with the relapsing-remitting form of multiple sclerosis (MS) received low-doses of vitamin D (1,000 international units daily) to prevent any vitamin D deficiency (1). Half of the participants also received high doses of vitamin D to elevate their blood vitamin D levels to levels with a target serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level of 130-175 nmol/L. The other half received a placebo. Magnetic Resonance Imaging scans of the participants' brains were performed at the start of the study and then again after four, five, and six months. The study results showed no significant difference between the two groups in the number of new abnormalities that had formed in the brain after six months and no significant difference in the change in the total volume of brain abnormalities.

The researchers noted that these results needed to be confirmed with larger studies. As the study involved people who had had MS for an average of six years, it would be possible that studies of high-dose vitamin D at an earlier stage of MS could yield different results.

References

  1. Stein M. S. et al. A randomized trial of high-dose vitamin D2 in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. Neurology. 2011; 77:1611–1618.