New Delhi: Taking a high dose of vitamin D3 is safe for people with multiple sclerosis, a nervous system disease, and may help regulate the body’s hyperactive immune response, according to a pilot study conducted by researchers.
“These results are exciting, as vitamin D has the potential to be an inexpensive, safe and convenient treatment for people with MS,” says study author Peter Calabresi, director of the Johns Hopkins Multiple Sclerosis Center and professor neurology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
The pilot study has been published by Johns Hopkins physicians in the online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a nervous system disease that affects brain and spinal cord.
The disease damages the myelin sheath, the material that surrounds and protects your nerve cells and this damage slows down or blocks messages between the brain and the body.
Low levels of vitamin D in the blood are tied to an increased risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS) and people who already have MS and low levels of vitamin D are more likely to have greater disability and more disease activity.
For 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.
The current recommended daily allowance of vitamin D3 is 600 international units.
Side effects from the vitamin supplements were minor and were not different between the people taking the high dose and the people taking the low dose.
The people taking the high dose had a reduction in the percentage of inflammatory T cells related to MS severity.
The people taking the low dose did not have any noticeable changes in the percentages of their T cell subsets.
While No one knows what causes MS but it is an autoimmune disease, which happens when a person’s immune system attacks healthy cells in his/her body by mistake.
Multiple sclerosis affects women more than men, often beginning between the ages of 20 and 40.
Usually, the disease is mild, but some people lose the ability to write, speak, or walk.