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Improve MS Symptoms with Vitamin D

By Daryl H. Bryant (353 words)
Posted in Living with MS on October 17, 2013

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Improve MS Symptoms with Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a fat soluble, oil-based vitamin that enhances absorption of phosphate and calcium. The vitamin ushers calcium into bones, prevents chronic diseases such as rickets and strengthens the teeth. Most people get all the vitamin D they need from direct sunlight and following a nutritious diet; although, some may take a vitamin D supplement to treat or prevent deficiency. Researchers are now concluding that vitamin D supplements may also help those living with multiple sclerosis.

According to Mayo Clinic, studies have been conducted by the University of Oxford and the New Jersey Medical School which both concluded that adequate levels of vitamin D can lower the risk of developing multiple sclerosis.

In another study, conducted by Maastricht University, researchers found that vitamin D can lessen the frequency and severity of symptoms in those who already have the disease. Researchers are still trying to understand why vitamin D seems to lessen the severity of attacks. However, they did find a direct link between exposure to direct sunlight and the onset of MS. It seems that people who are positioned closer to the equator have a much lower risk of developing multiple sclerosis than those who live further away.

As for how much vitamin D is necessary to lessen multiple sclerosis symptoms, it varies depending on the patient. However, the general recommendation is to take 600 IUs of vitamin D each day. This prescription increases to 800 IUs for those with MS over the age of 71. Although some people may need more vitamin D to lessen their symptoms, the Institute of Medicine suggests staying under 4000 IUs per day. 

Currently it seems that Vitamin D supplements may definitely offer hope to those with MS, but it's best to obtain a correct dosage from a doctor before taking an OTC supplement. For further information about the benefits of Vitamin D for multiple sclerosis, refer to Chapter 6 of the MS – Living Symptom Free book.

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