What is Vitamin D ?
Vitamin D is fat soluble vitamin. It helps regulate calcium metabolism. It is important in promoting absorption of calcium/phosphorus in the gut to support bone integrity. Vitamin D is synthesized by the skin from sunlight. Vitamin D needs to undergo conversion from its inert state by process of hydroxylation initially in the liver.
Signs and symptoms of the deficiency
• Fatigue and muscle weakness
• Joint pain
• Infections and illness
• Immune system disorders
• Nervous system malfunctions
The Importance of vitamin D
• helping with the absorption of calcium
• maintaining healthy bones
• regulating genes and cell growth
• preventing rickets and osteoporosis
• modulating the immune system
• lower the chances of MS disorder
Roles of Vitamin D in immunity.
Vitamin D levels and MS susceptibility.
Since vitamin D was proposed as an important factor in MS development in the 1970s, numerous experimental and epidemiologic studies have been conducted to answer key questions such as Does vitamin D prevent MS? How does vitamin D impact MS activity? and Can vitamin D supplementation favorably alter the course of MS? Observational study data does suggest that adequate vitamin D levels may reduce the risk of MS and affect the course of the disease. However, study limitations restrict the extent to which inverse associations can be attributed to vitamin D, and additional studies are needed to further understand the nature of this association
Dietary intake of Vitamin D and MS risk (case study)
colleagues evaluated the association between calculated vitamin D intake from diet or supplements and the risk of developing MS .Women who had a higher intake of dietary vitamin D (approximately 700 IU/day) had a 33% lower incidence of MS compared with those with lower intake. In addition, women who used vitamin D supplements (≥ 400 IU/day) had a 41% reduced risk of developing MS compared to non-users. Having higher levels of 25(OH)D (irrespective of dietary vitamin D intake) also seems to predict a lower risk of MS onset. Using a longitudinal study design, Munger and colleagues evaluated serum vitamin D levels derived from blood samples of seven million US military personnel. Those with 25(OH)D levels greater than 100 nmol/L (40 ng/mL) had a 62% lower chance of subsequently developing MS .
Vitamin D supportive food options
Egg yolk , yogurt , cheese , red meat , liver , oily fish ( tuna and sardines ) and fortified breakfast cereal .
Evidence available to date suggests that the level of serum vitamin D affects the risk of developing MS and also modifies disease activity in MS patients. Until several years ago, evidence that higher levels of vitamin D are associated with favorable effects on MS risk and a reduction in MS activity was supported largely by observational studies. Limitations of these studies restricted confidence in a specific effect of vitamin D in MS. Newer data with Mendelian randomization analyses suggest there is a causal relationship between low vitamin D level and the risk of MS
1. Munger K, Levin L, Hollis B, Howard N, Ascherio A. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and risk of multiple sclerosis. JAMA. 2006;296(23):2832. doi: 10.1001/jama.296.23.2832. [PubMed] [Crosseref] [Google Scholar]
2. Munger K, Ascherio A. Prevention and treatment of MS: studying the effects of vitamin D. Mult Scler J. 2011;17(12):1405–1411. doi: 10.1177/1352458511425366. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [Google Scholar]
3. Holick M. Vitamin D: a millenium perspective. J Cell Biochem. 2002;88(2):296–307. doi: 10.1002/jcb.10338. [PubMed [Google Scholar]
4.Burton JM,Kimball S,Vieth R,et al. A phase I/II dose escalation trial of vitamin D3 and calcium in multiple sclerosis. Neurology 2010; 74(23) 1852-1859. [Pub Med]
5.Banwell B,et al. Incidence of acquired demyelination of the CNS in Canadian children. Neurology 2009;72:232-239