Vitamin D may benefit individuals with multiple sclerosis

New research “suggests Vitamin D may help people who suffer from multiple sclerosis.” Researchers found that “patients with higher levels of vitamin D have fewer symptoms and slower progression of MS than patients with lower levels, especially in the early stages of the disease.”

HealthDay reports that investigators “measured vitamin D levels in 465 patients with signs of MS who took part in a trial designed to study interferon beta-1b treatment.” Over “the next five years, patients underwent MRI scans so the researchers could track brain lesions associated with the disease.”

MedPage Today reports that “each 20 ng/mL increment in serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OH-D), the active metabolite of vitamin D, averaged during the first 12 months of participation in a clinical trial of interferon-beta (Betaseron) was associated with nearly 60% lower rates of new MRI lesions and clinical relapses (both P<0.05) during subsequent follow-up relative to those with smaller or no increases in 25-OH-D levels.”

Additionally, “higher 25-OH-D levels shortly after the initial clinical attack were also associated with significantly smaller T2 lesion volumes later on, and there was a trend toward less brain atrophy as well.” The findings were published in JAMA Neurology.

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