Reducing the risk of exacerbation of MS can be achieved.   But, you might ask, how can I do this?  Sometimes, the answer is in the past; so, let’s look back.  See below.

 In1981, R. Edgar Hope-Simpson proposed that a ‘seasonal stimulus’ intimately associated with sunshine explained astonishing seasonality of flu epidemics.  Radiation from the sun interacts with the skin and causes seasonal vitamin D production.    During the winter, vitamin D deficiency is common.  The active form of vitamin D (vitamin D3) acts on the immune system and has anti-inflammatory qualities as well as qualities that cause cells to produce chemicals to help them destroy infectious agents (viruses, bacteria, fungi).  In addition, volunteers inoculated with live attenuated influenza virus are more likely to develop fever and evidence of an immune response in the winter. Further, vitamin D deficiency predisposes children to respiratory infections. A reduction in the incidence of viral infections also occurs with sunlight exposure and artificial means of radiation. 

Based on these findings, it is concluded that Hope-Simpson’s ‘seasonal stimulus’ may be vitamin D, or lack of it. (SOURCE: Epidemiol Infect. 2006 December; 134(6): 1129–1140.   Epidemic influenza and vitamin D  J. J. CANNELL,  R. VIETH,  J. C. UMHAU,  M. F. HOLICK,  W. B. GRANT,  S. MADRONICH,  C. F. GARLAND,  and E. GIOVANNUCCI)

Depending on geographic location, the majority of exacerbations in multiple occur in the winter months.  An infection (predominantly upper airway infections) increases the risk of an exacerbation.  In deed, exacerbations of multiple sclerosis (MS) are triggered by viral upper respiratory infections (URIs).  Exacerbation may lead to increase in disability.  Moreover, when you have MS, you have a high increased risk of pneumonia—- a threefold increased risk. Vitamin D 3 supplementation during the winter reduces the incidence of influenza A which leads to a reduction of pneumonia.  (Source references provided on request)

So, to reduce your chances of experiencing an exacerbation, take vitamin D3, at least 5,000 i u daily.

 To Your Health,

 Dr. Rudy Cartwright

 PS: As usual, please leave your comments below.


  1. Dr Cartwright,
    Have you looked further into CCSVI?
    I have had the procedure a month ago and am now riding 5kms on our exercise bike each day, whereas I was only able to walk less than 100m whilst hanging onto our house’s walls before the procedure.
    If you look into ALL the ins and outs of CCSVI and blood, (without a negative cap on!) I’m sure you’ll see why it actually makes so much sense and shows how it is that I can now stand for 15-20 minutes without falling now!!
    I am quite happy to send you the documents that I have sourced through constant research over the last nigh-on 3 years (well before the majority of the general ‘MS’ public) and would be happy to answer ANY questions you might have.
    Thank you so much for helping so many of the ‘MS’ community. 🙂

  2. Hello,
    I am Anindita from India. I have MS since 2006 and I had a relapse in Sept 2010. Since then I started pranayams of Baba Ramdev (I am sure you have heard of him), namely anulom-vilom and kapalbhati both of which are supposed to have cured MS patients in India. Of course not overnight, but after a year or two of regular practise. Even I am doing it since Oct 2010.

    I welcome your opinion on this, since I am truly desperate to find a cure to my illness.

    And what I am doing now seems too good to be true to a cynic like me.

  3. Dr Cartwight,
    Since vitamin D is so important, would going to a tanning salon to increase vitamin D be advisable?
    Thank You,
    Ray Charpentier

  4. Since I’ve had my d/x I haven’t even had so much as a cold(touch wood).
    What do you make of that?

  5. Some years ago I went to Cube for a winter vacation, and was surprised to find that I could move much more easily than I have been able to for many years. With some thought and reading, once I returned home, I decided the help came from vitamin D 3. For about ten years I have been taking 4000 I U of this vitamin each morning. Since initially the Vitamin D 3 helped, but not as much the Cuban sun, I started to go to a Tanning salon several times each week. I still go Tanning as this really helps my MS. Since I have been taking the vitamin for so long; I now believe that the sun is contributing something more. I have certainly read about the Australian sun helping MS, but I’ am still mystified about what this extra factor could be.

  6. I have been taking Vitamin D3 for two years 20,000 IU every 4 days (to maintain) Ive just had a sore throat once for three days that time and no cold in all that time!

    I will not be having a flu shot this year my D 25OHD (25 hydroxy D) blood level this Feb. was 229 very high, all other levels like calcium was normal I have had no ill effects what so ever I get my Vitamin D3 on the NHS on prescription free it is from Germany and comes in at 1 million IU in 50, 20,000 iu cel capsules that are very small, Cholecalciferol takes 9 months to work optimally in The body so have patience and no more colds It is also very important in Cardiovascular health! Google “Vitamin D3 and Cardiovascular health” for a big surprise! Like I had when researching CCSVI vitamin D3 and MS last year that will keep you going for a bit! And watch the Google videos!

  7. Hi Dr Cartwright,

    Thank you for these very helpful information, as always. I was just wondering if you can get Vitamin D3 given by injection form or only on a 5,000 iu daily basis and should you it be taken all the year round or just for a certain lenght of time. I would greatly appreciate your help on this matter.

    Many many thanks and have a very Happy and Healthy Christmas to you and yours,

    Ursula Doyle

    my email address is:

  8. Perfect! Clear concise and to the point! Thank you! I have only had 2 exacerbations in 30 yrs. I overdo my activities! I am taking the supplements, as I can afford! Thank you!

  9. Old news, my currently taking MS201, where you recommend D3 as well as other supplements. My neurologist recently recommended I take 1000-2000 mg D3 also.

  10. I have just increased my vitamin D3 from 2000 iu to 4000 iu. I also rarely get a cold. I had attributed that to taking a product called RELIV. I had taken it as a supplement for approximately 5 years. I just recently stopped taking it when I started working with Dr. Cartwright as my MS Health Coach.

  11. Great news as I’ve just been taking Vit D3 for the past 6 months.

    Thanks a million – Have a good Christmas.

    Aine McEvoy

  12. I have had MS for 34 years and had been taking Vitamin D3 3000IU but had to cut back to 2000IU due to constipation. I also take calcium, magnesium, among multiple other things. I never get sick, either, knock on wood!!! My levels are optimal, but could be higher. Thanks for the info, I still might try to increase during the winter.

  13. I NEVERR get sick with colds…I have been taking vitD, 4,000iu daily, for about a year and a half now…one time I quit taking it and I felt worse in all ways…I now live in Australia so I have been avoiding the sun, but now I will start sitting out there more…before I was dx’d with MS, I used to go to the tanning booth at the beginning of summer and always felt better, and would go off my antidepressants…then come autumn, I would crash, and have to go back on the antidepressants…this was in the 80’s…Then the big scare about sun and cancer came out and I quit. I wonder if it would be good to start back slowly??

  14. I have been taking vitamin D3 for a few years2,500 2xday with my Calcium Magnesium Citrate. I was taking Copaxone injection every day, but I don’t feel good on the MS disease modification meds. I am also going to receive an infusion of IVIG. I did this a couple years ago and felt really good. Thanks alot and visit my website I sell Avon and do alot of fundraising for MS with Avon. We have really great products and some natural minerals.

  15. I am very happy about the results of the vitamin d. I had the liberation treatment done in Sofia Bulgaria on July 28th and then on Novemeber 18th my husband and I went to Barrie Ontario Canada so i could have my veins checked to see if they were still open and they were.I find the sunshine is very helpful as well. Thanks.

  16. I started to take 1200 mg of D3 just a few months ago As instructed buy DR. Cartwrite.I live in Arizona where there is lots of sun and I sit out 30min a day every day, should I also increase the amount of vitamin D3 I take daily??? I just checked the level of vit D3 and it was perfect. The Dr said he has never seen anyone with such good level of vit D3.
    Thank you for all the help and great info you have provided me with.
    I feel so much better with all the vitm, nutrition and exercise. I need to get rid of all my stress and then I would feel totally satisfied

  17. Thank you Dr. Cartwright. Currently I’m taking 5,000iu daily. When I get really busy and I need to keep my energy level going, I take another 5,000 i.u. and I feel good. Everybody I work with have been getting colds and some even the flu. So far, I haven’t even gotten a cold and keep some vitamin D3 capsules in my desk drawer.


  19. Thankyou, again.
    I am taking nowhere near enough Vit D3
    and now i need to find the Dr who will write the presciption for me.
    Almost there.

  20. The connection between upper respiratory tract infections and MS exacerbations rings bells in my experience. Perhaps D3 would be worth a trial on that score.

  21. hi, how much vitamin d can i take, should i just take it daily and how much. the sun does work wonders for me and im never sick in the summer months, but when winter comes i seem to get everything.

  22. I want to start taking vitamin D but don`t think I can as I had 2 blood clots this year and am on warfarin each day.

  23. Dr Cartwright’s information is invaluable & very supportive!
    Thank you Dr.
    I’ve had MS since being diagnosed on the day of ‘9/11’
    I’m in Melbourne, Australia, so it’s a case of being careful out in the Sun here.
    Many others here have aligned the exposure to Vit D & MS.
    What has been reported & studied can’t be ignored.
    With the Reports from others on this Web site, there has to be some truth to it all?
    My best wishes to all – Tony

  24. I have recently done a piece of work at Lincoln Uni,about Multiple Sclerosis(MS)and was ammazed to read about Helminth Therapy, seemingly a good controll?..Looks worth a read to me ..


  25. the thing with MS is that our immune system overacts therefore we should rarely get colds anyway – nothing to do with the d3 – i too have been taking alot of d3 for many many years now – it has not helped me – the only relief i get from ms is if i do copious amounts of exercise and go somewhere warm – when i am warm i move better and can do more – to a certain point and then at times ms kicks in and the messages dont get through – but all in all I think its not so much the sun as the warmth – for me anyway!!

  26. I have suspected this for some time. I moved to Hawaii 2 years ago. There are two factors that I believe are important. First, the body is not stressed by radical temperature fluctuations. Daytime highs and overnight lows tend to be withing 10 degrees of each other. Second, the shortest day of the year is 10.8 hours long. This means plentiful sunshine even in December and January. Over the last two years I have been able to stop using prescription medications to control my MS symptoms. Sunshine and constant temperatures are the best Rx for me.

  27. I was wondering if antidepressant such Lexapro would hurt MS patient who is very depressed because he is in a nursing
    home and can see no hope for his life to get better. He had aspiration pneumonia because of swallowing problems
    and had to go to a nursing home 4 years ago and shortly after that, he had to get a feeding tube. So now he can’t
    enjoy the pleasure of eating. He didn’t get to go outside this summer and get alittle sun because of the schedule he
    was put on and the temp. was higher than usual. It gets very hard to know what to do when all these other people
    are involved. Thanks

  28. thankyou so much for the information, i am currently takeing vit d 1000 units a day, should i be taking more or is that ok? thankyou

  29. Dr. Cartwright, my ms doctor has me taking 50,ooo iu of vitamin D weekly. I have been doing this for about 3mths now,he did have me taking 3000 a day. Is this too much vitamin D? I have a tanning bed , but I don’t use except in the spring a couple mths out of the year. should I start using it more often? Im also going to start going to a massage therapist for muscle spasms. Do you have any good diets for ms, what type of exercise is best for ms?

  30. I have been taking vitamin D3, (4,000 iu) for over 2 years since my diagnosis. It really has made a difference. I live in Wisconsin and winters are always difficult due to the lack of sun. I try to tan at least 2 times a week. That in combination with the vitamin D3 has helped keep my symptoms to a minimum. Thanks for all the great information.

  31. I have had MS for 30 years. I have done extremly well, until about 6 years ago, the same time we moved to south Florida. I have had an experation almost 1 a year then I need a 5 day IV drip. The hot sun really gets me if I am sitting out which makes going to the beach difficult when the temp is in the 80’s or higher. I do fine if I am floating in our pool.The sun use to never bother me at all!I guess what I am wondering is, do other MS patients have the same trouble with sun? How can others stay out and not be bothered with it, and how much vit. D should I take? I never have taken any before. I am on Copaxone amd Ampyra.

  32. I have had MS for 10 years, (62 when I got it) a Secondary Progressive form without exacerbations.
    I don’t take any medication, living in California I have certainly enough vitamin D. I try to exercise as much as I can. Of course, I have spasticity in my legs and find it difficult to make long walks. Each MS case seems to be so different!

  33. I have been recently diagnosed with ms.Dr prescribed me Avonex. Will this medicine works in the long run. Currently I am taking vitamin D3, 1000 IU daily.
    Should I increase my Vitamin D3 consumption.


  34. Hi,
    I would like to know, how much of vitamin E should one take, who lives in the
    tiny city, where the air is extremely polluted.
    I know that E vitamine eliminates toxines from the body. And how much of vitamine
    D3 in this kind of enviroment?

  35. Thank you beyond mere worda for this most valuable input of information for all sufferere of MS(myself included). I will soon read all in entirety. Then I hope to write to you with my questions. Hopefully you’ll

    Again, thank you,

    Hopes for a better 2011,

    Thank you,

    Louise Goodman

  36. I live in Australia, Ive never taken Vitamin D,I am a person who is always outdoors. I love to sit in the sun, going to the beach and have done all my life. I am 45 year old female and have had 1 major attack 7 years ago where I needed a walking stick. I got over it and have never looked back. I Never get colds or viruses, those around me always get sick, I can’t remember when I last had a sick day.
    So my Vitamin D comes straight from the sun.

  37. ms is different for everyone, that’s why I feel that stress and environment play an important role in managing the condition. One website I recommend is She is a Canadian woman who overcame horrible attacks and is now symptom free. She did it with just movement. Eva is a lovely woman who is on Facebook and has a wonderful encouraging INEXPENSIVE book. A good site for diet is I’ve read many encouraging reports from people who have heeled from this horrible affliction. I have had it for six years. Good luck.

  38. I am interested to know if there are any side affects from too much vitamin d? I know everyone thinks it helps but I have also read that it can affect your blood pressure adversely – I find I get more relief going out into the sun, getting a tan and staying warm!! I started taking D3 6 years ago – 5000 iu a day – and it didnt seem to make a difference and then I visited a place in mainland australia for 6 weeks and spent lots of time in the sun and felt better than I had for a very long time. I have had MS since 1987!! I think not only is it the vitamin d but possibly the warmth and how it makes you breath more deeply – just a thought – does anyone else find that the warmth helps?? of course it makes us worse too because it slows the messages down but in all I find it helps immensly – people with MS sometimes seek colder climates because of this and I have noticed that these people tend to go downhill faster than other with MS – or is this coincidence>?? who knows?

  39. Just came onto this site by mistake and it was good to read all the comments about Vitamin D. However I am ‘bothered’ by either too much heat or needing an air flow somewhere. My poor hubby, family and friends understand BUT I’m aware that other important people need more warmth than me!

    I’m aware that part of the problem might ‘be my age’ (early fifties).

    Suppose we can’t all be the same- but enjoy life with respect for others’ needs!!

  40. hi i think ms is the worst think in the world its like the devil is inside and hes not getting out so i dont think any vitamin d3 will help i have tried it i have tried the sun nothing works its a life sentance we have to get through it on our own hope the next life we dont get it

  41. I have had MS for 25+ years. I am lucky to still have strength in my legs, and can hold myself up. Though my balance..and left side are way off. I was on Beta Seron for 12 1/2 years. Avonex for 6 mo. and I tried Tysabri and got a BK virus which was detected in my spinal fluid. After that (6 mo.) I said enough. I am on Copaxone, which I feel does nothing for me. I take a number of supplements…D3 5000/ Cenitol Powder for Nervous System Support, Licorice plus, COQ10, and a number more.
    I have been on Effexor 112.5 mg for a very long time, and my depression is constant. I went on disablity 10 years ago from teaching, and I can’t
    wrap my head around “cognitive problems” short term memory probs..etc.–
    I know a pad and paper help to write everything down, but I sometimes forget the pad/the list etc. My self esteem has been horrible for a long time. Any suggestions? Can I take Lexapro with Effexor? I’m feeling things now that I never felt before. Like my back is totally heated…and I panic every time it starts. I can’t calm down. It’s not’s MS. And it is depressing me so much. I don’t want to feel sorry for myself God knows I have it better than most…but the depression is making me crazy…My friend takes LDN..has 2ndary Progressive, and seems to always be happy. Obviously there are other issues…with me..but I’m feeling really low…I can’t take any heat..even in the Spring. Thanks for letting me vent.

  42. I understand that taking 5,000 IU of Vitamin D3 will keep you at your current level, which is good if you are at optimum levels. Also, Vit. D by prescription is generally Vitamin D2, which doesn’t work well with the body and sometimes has reported side effects. Vitamin D3 is the one your body can use and is also much less expensive. Try and find some that doesn’t have anything else in it with it. I get mine from Swanson’s Vitamins on the web. Often they have D3, their own brand, buy-one-get-one free. Currently the 2,000 IU’s have been on sale, and since my test was only 39 I am currently taking 6,000/day til the levels rise. My daughter, who may have MS is currently taking 10,000 for a short time as she tested at 29. We are hoping that she never has another episode. She presented with ON a few months ago, had three steroid IV infusions, and now that it’s been a few months her energy is finally returning. She’s also taking chelated B’s, R-factor Alpha Lipoic Acid, an energy multi, Lifeguard Antioxidant Formula and Serrapeptase. So far, so good. The doctors are amazed at how quickly she has progressed and her vision is nearly normal. : )

  43. how do i read ans. to question and also you send me alist of vitamins i should be taking i cannot find email can you send great info

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