Vitamin D Supplements May Benefit MS Sufferers
According to a pilot study conducted by Johns Hopkins physicians, taking a high dose of vitamin D3 is safe for people with multiple sclerosis (MS) and may help regulate the body’s hyperactive immune response. Although more research is needed to confirm the findings with larger groups of people, the results of the study are promising as a potential, inexpensive and safe treatment. During the study, 40 people with relapsing-remitting MS received either 10,400 international units or 800 international units of vitamin D3 supplements per day for six months (patients with severe vitamin D deficiency were not included in the study). Blood tests at the start of the study, and then again at three and six months, measured the amount of vitamin D in the blood and the response in the immune system’s T cells, which play a key role in MS. The people taking the high dose had a reduction in the percentage of inflammatory T cells related to MS severity (specifically IL-17+CD4+ and CD161+CD4+ cells). When the increase in vitamin D levels in the blood over base-line levels was greater than 18 ng/ml, every additional 5 ng/ml increase in vitamin D led to a one-percent decrease in the percentage of IL-17+CD4+ T cells in the blood. The people taking the low dose did not have any noticeable changes in the percentages of their T cell subsets. To read more about this study, click here.
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