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Vitamin D may be important in both the prevention of multiple sclerosis (MS) and management of the disease, but scientists are still trying to determine what the ideal dose of vitamin D is for people with MS. Some studies show that people with low blood levels of vitamin D are at increased risk of developing MS. In people already diagnosed with MS, low levels of vitamin D are associated with increased flares of the condition and worse disability than people with the disease who have higher vitamin D levels.
At the same time, in one study of people with MS, half of participants received daily supplements containing 1,000 international units (IUs) of vitamin D, and the other half received a total of 7,000 IUs of vitamin D per day. At the end of six months, both groups had adequate blood levels of vitamin D. But the group that received the higher doses of vitamin D actually had more relapses and worse disability than the group that received 1,000 IUs per day. More study is needed.
In addition to supplements, you can get vitamin D by eating foods that contain it (such as fatty fish, eggs and fortified dairy products and orange juice) or simply by going outside, where your skin can synthesize vitamin D from sunlight. Consult your doctor for more information about vitamin D and your own needs for it.
Both calcium and vitamin D are important in preventing osteoporosis, which is relatively common among the multiple sclerosis (MS) population. The ideal dose of vitamin D for people with MS is not known, but it may be reasonable to take 400 -1000 IU daily.
This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.