What is the role of vitamin D in multiple sclerosis (MS), and what are the optimal levels of serum vitamin D?

Updated: Oct 08, 2019
  • Author: Christopher Luzzio, MD; Chief Editor: Jasvinder Chawla, MD, MBA  more...
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Preliminary evidence suggests that persons with high circulating levels of vitamin D are at lower risk of MS [39] ; thus, vitamin D supplementation may reduce the risk of developing MS and of conversion from a first clinical event suggestive of MS to clinically definite MS. Vitamin D may also reduce the relapse rate among patients with relapsing-remitting MS. [132]

For healthy individuals, serum vitamin D concentrations of 50-125 nmol/L (20-50 ng/mL) are generally considered adequate for bone and overall health, according to the Institute of Medicine. [133] Serum vitamin D concentrations of 75-100 nmol/L (30-40 ng/mL) have been proposed as optimal for patients with MS. [134]

Achieving these levels may require the use of supplemental vitamin D in doses up to 3000 IU daily; maintaining these levels appears to require doses of 500 to 800 IU daily. [134] The safety and effectiveness of vitamin D supplementation among patients with MS remains unclear, however. [135]

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