Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Vitamin D and multiple sclerosis hospital admissions in Scotland


In this study there is a link between hospital admissions due to MS in Scotland and the average vitamin D levels in the previous 4 months. As you can see from the graphs above the greatest admission rates were in Spring (April to June) when vitamin D levels are the lowest.

"This suggests that low vitamin D levels are associated with whatever causes MS'ers to be admitted to hospital, i.e. relapses and infections."

"We know from numerous other studies that being deficient in vitamin D affects your immunity and increases your risk of infections and probably relapses."

"This study is another reason to make sure that you are vitamin D replete. There is not enough good quality sunshine in the UK to do this so you need to take supplements. I advocate 5,000U of vitamin D3 per day."


8 comments:

  1. Possible link to vit D and EBV is interesting but have you seen this recent article about vit D and rheumatoid arthritis? I can only get the first page, but I can see where they are going...

    Is vitamin D in rheumatoid arthritis a magic bullet or a mirage? The need to improve the evidence base prior to calls for supplementation.
    Welsh P, Peters MJ, Sattar N.
    Arthritis Rheum. 2011 Jul;63(7):1763-9.
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/art.30341/abstract

    It seems to me that vit D is being linked to a long list of diseases. Is it vid D deficiency really responsible? Linus Pauling and friends thought vit C megadoses would cure all sorts of conditions from colds to cancer, but clinical trials have not provided evidence. The benefits of huge doses of vit C are now largely discredited.

    The vit D link is intriguing, but the evidence is still circumstantial. Any plans for clinical trials? How do we test whether deficiency is a trigger for MS? Should we test whether high doses will prevent relapses when we've got DMTs that are supposed to do that? Would people be willing to do a clinical trial comparing a DMT to vit D megadoses?
    Could we test whether taking vit D supplements made us generally healthier, and therefore better able to fight off infections/cancers/heart disease/RA etc etc?

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  2. We are working on trying to link EBV infection and its complications to the biology of vitamin D.

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  3. It would be useful to know the reasons behind the hospital admissions - stating the obvious I s'pose. I wonder if 'vit' D is helpful for people with progressive MS? It is difficult to know how to advise my children, in terms of dosage - follow your guidelines?

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  4. If it helps my whole family including my daughters are on 5,000U of vitamin D supplementation per day. I am not prepared to take the chance of them getting MS.

    I also hope that they don't take up smoking, but the chances of them taking my advice is low.

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  5. Re "my daughters are on 5,000U of vitamin D supplementation per day. I am not prepared to take the chance of them getting MS."

    It seems that you are acknowledging just how horrid it is to be a parent of an MS sufferer and watch your child decay during the most important years of their lives. The parent is powerless, as is the child.

    My boy is talking more and more about going to Dignitas. For years I've told him they'll come up with something to cure MS, or at least improve it, but you've achieved nothing.

    I don't blame you for doing everything within your power to stop your kids developing MS. You see the violent damage first hand. The truth is that until you know what causes it many more parents will have to go through what I'm enduring. I know you're working hard but you seriously need to work harder professor.

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  6. Nothing is worse than a child's decay with the prospect of more to come. Having MS myself would be much, much easier.

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  7. Thanks for your comments re your family's vit D dosage.

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  8. Hi Prof Giovannoni

    exceptional work as always thanks very much for posting.

    Ryan
    shine on scotland

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