A new study has found that insufficient vitamin D levels may be associated with a higher risk of relapse attacks in patients who developed multiple sclerosis (MS) during childhood.
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego followed 110 patients who first exhibited MS symptoms as a child and found that high levels of vitamin D corresponded to a 34 percent decrease in the rate of relapse attacks.
The study suggests that raising the level of the compound in people with MS by 2,000 IU per day can conceivably cut a patient’s relapse rate in half, according to lead author Ellen Mowry.
"This is an exciting finding because it indicates that it is very possible for vitamin D supplementation to have a profound impact on the course of this disease," said senior author Emmanuelle Waubant.
The next step for the research team is to conduct a randomized clinical trial of vitamin D supplementation in MS patients as well as a study to determine the mechanism by which the compound affects the inflammatory process.