Vitamin D recommended for multiple sclerosis sufferers

Here’s the link to a great article that i found for you about vitamin D and MS.  The article goes into great detail about why ditamin D is important for MS sufferers and why MS sufferers should supplement their diet with this hormone to help prevent relapses.


 J Neurol. 2009 September; 256(9): 1468–1479  Published online 2009 April 28 © The Author(s) 2009

Clinical implications of a possible role of vitamin D in multiple sclerosis

Charles Pierrot-Deseilligny


Risk factors for MS are becoming clearer even if the mechanisms leading from these risk factors to the disease itself remain obscure. There are two main types of risk factors for MS, i.e. genetic and environmental, likely with complex interactions between them and effects which may be deleterious or protective, depending on the case.  Genetic risk factors are numerous, but they are still relatively not well known and will not be dealt with here. Three environmental risk factors have recently emerged from the literature—i.e. hypovitaminosis D, past infection with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and smoking—with effects that could be cumulative. In this review, we shall confine our analysis to hypovitaminosis D, which is the risk factor currently the most promising in terms of immediate clinical implications.

Hypovitaminosis D has long been suspected of being a risk factor for MS but there has recently been a sharp increase of interest in this factor. The putative protective role of vitamin D in MS is based on a wide-ranging series of arguments. The first group of arguments exists outside, or indeed before, the disease, including physiological, metabolic, experimental and immunological factors, in addition to which there are epidemiological data on the effects of latitude, past exposure to sunlight and serum vitamin D levels on the risk of MS in the general population. The second group of arguments stems from data on MS patients derived from biological and therapeutic studies. We shall begin by looking at how these very diverse experimental and epidemiological arguments have progressively accumulated to strengthen the hypothesis that vitamin D plays a substantial protective role in MS. Then, even though there is no incontrovertible evidence from clinical studies to confirm that vitamin D can also have a curative effect, in the last chapter we shall propose the clinical applications that it would appear could be made available to MS patients without further delay. This paper is, to our knowledge, the first proposing such practical measures after the recent information reported on vitamin D in MS.

Effect of vitamin D treatment in MS  

Studies on the use of vitamin D in MS are still rare and limited in scope. After a two-year course of treatment with vitamin D (5,000 IU/d in the form of cod liver oil), 10 patients with MS had a 60% reduction in the predicted number of relapses, but there was no control group. In another uncontrolled study, 15 patients who received 100 IU/d for 48 weeks experienced a 50% reduction in relapses. In a study on 39 patients with MS (17 treated with 1,000 IU/d of vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) for 6 months and 22 control subjects), the treated patients had a significantly increased level of TGF-?1, an anti-inflammatory cytokine affected by vitamin D in EAE. Lastly, a Canadian team recently demonstrated that the use of high doses of vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol, 14,000 IU/d) during a long period (6 months–1 year) did not induce hypercalcaemia or notable side-effects, despite serum vitamin D levels of nearly 400 nmol/l. After 1 year of such treatment, a 41% reduction in the number of relapses and a significant improvement in EDSS was observed in the treated patients (n = 25 vs. 24 untreated patients). The results of these methodologically weak studies do not of course allow us to draw any definite conclusions. However, taking into account the full scientific context, they are encouraging and provide ample justification for much more extensive therapeutic trials (phase II or phase III). The appropriate vitamin D doses will, however, have to be determined, since the daily dosages in the aforementioned four studies were 100, 1000, 5,000 and 14,000 IU/d, a situation that raises the perplexing question of the useful therapeutic dosage.


Based on considerable physiological evidence, a large body of experimental findings, consistent epidemiological data and limited but promising clinical studies, the hypothesis that hypovitaminosis D is one of the environmental risk factors for MS has rapidly gained support and could soon be confirmed by more extensive clinical studies. Over and above its possible role in MS, hypovitaminosis D—due to its widespread distribution among the general population in countries with low levels of sunlight—now raises a crucial public health problem which must be solved if we are to achieve optimal prevention of a number of general affections that are common in these countries. Neurologists, like all medical practitioners, should be keenly aware of this problem, but those who are more particularly involved in caring for MS patients must be doubly receptive and rapidly preventive, since ‘time is brain’ is also applicable to MS.




Physiological and metabolic basis

Experimental and immunological studies

Epidemiological studies

Effect of latitude on the prevalence of MS

Effect of latitude on serum vitamin D levels in the general population

Effect of exposure to sunlight on the risk of MS

Effect of the serum vitamin D level in the general population on the risk of MS

Clinical studies

Biological studies related to vitamin D in MS

Effect of vitamin D treatment in MS

Questions and practical clinical approach to vitamin D in MS 


Open Access


To Your Health,


Dr. Rudy Cartwright

PS: As always, please leave your comments below.


25 thoughts on “Vitamin D recommended for multiple sclerosis sufferers

  1. Thank you for the information. It is always great to be updated with anything that will help. I do think after Christmas a big change in my diet to a more vegatable diet with lots of fish and fruit to see if it helps is required.

  2. Good Morning! I do believe the benefits and necessity of D3 for MS sufferers. But what about my children who as of yet do not have this disease? I know they should supplement but how much? I would think it would be much more than the average healthy kid. The neurologist and pediatrician both seemed uninformed and or uninterested in D3 and just say to follow the reccommendation on the bottle which really means they have no idea!! I am leaning towards 1,000 iu for a 14 yr. old son and 12 yer old daughter. Any thoughts?

    Thanks so much! You are the only doctor who makes sense to me!

  3. Hello; Would you pleases explain the difference between vitamin D3 and vitamin D. You seem to use the two interchangeably. What is the recommended dose? thanks, John

  4. Thanks for the Vit D update.

    This is extremely useful information and backs up your earlier thoughts on Vit D3

    It will be interesting to see if the health authorities can come up with a some guidance on Vit D3 dosage for MS patients

    Kind regards and Best Wishes for Christmas and the New Year for you and all the Team


  5. Thank You for this information, I am taking 100iu per day for the last 2 months. Have not noticed any difference, i will continue with D3.
    M Ryser

  6. Interesting connection between Vitamin D and MS. I’m on COPAXONE and the doctor added D3 to my Vitamin list. Seems to be helping.

  7. Thanks for the information. I take 15,000 iu’s of Vit D3 per day. My general practitioner took blood tests and said my Vit D3 levels were very impressive. I also take higher dosages of Calcium per day about 4,000 iu’s. I do believe this is helping.

  8. I have been trying to get the essentials. I am having trouble please tell me where I can sign up. I have tried calling, but Im in Canada and cant get through.

    please advise
    Patricia Kucybala

  9. have tried vitamin D what and where is the vitamin d3 difference? I think its best. seems like its hard to find unless have to order. Then will try and order or the neurologist can prescribe and will be able to get. thank you for letting us all know of the value. we all with ms need any luck at all. to live a impossible normal life. thank you all for trying to help us all. joan tena over 20yrs.

  10. Thanks for the information Dr Cartwright. I have been taking 4000IU of vitamin D3 per day for the past 2 years. When I feel a relapse coming on I usually increase that to 8000IU per day and then drop it back to 4000IU once I feeling the relapse subsiding. I am a very strong believer that Vitamin D3 does assist with MS symptoms. Since I have been using it I have been able to return to work 16 hours per week doing loss prevention work which requires me to be on my feet walking on concrete floors for up to 4-hours at a time.

  11. I believe I have had MS my entire life, but I did not diagnose it until I was about 30. In my early forties I took a winter vacation in Cuba and was shocked to find how much easier I found it to walk. I put it down to the sun. When I got back I started taking D3, which was the only thing I could think of, at the time. Sometime after, I started to go Tanning several times a week. This made me feel even better. I then felt it was not just the Vitamin D but something else in the sun I take 4000 IU of this vitamin each day. I had read this was an appropriate level, about 15 years ago. Now I also go tanning several times a week. I find this also helps but I don;t know why. I have also seen this as an idea to help MS both in literature as well as in books.
    I am the original kind of Dr. and have a PhD in Paleoliminology.

  12. Hi I,m glad my daugther found your website I have found it to be very good plus so much seems to make sense Im going to make more healthy changes to my life starting with detoxing Ive tried other medical things and well if they had worked for me we wouldnt have been still looking for other answers so thankyou ANN FROM AUSTRALIA

  13. I have been taking 10,000 IU of vitamin D3 daily for about 6 months now. I haven’t had a relapse since adding this to my Tysabri treatments. My vision and cognitive functions seem to be improving as well.

  14. I’m a little confused by the jargon in this article, but what I do know is that having increased my Vit D3 from 400iu to 4 times that amount,I have noticed a difference in the control I have in my legs. They are still weird and I won’t be doing any hurdling again, but they DO feel a little less like they going to collapse. I read about Vit d3 and decided that I have nothing to lose. I have a terminal condition, so, hey, what the hell, give it a go. It does help. PS I do appreciate all the little links and titbits that come through, probably like many others, but I would just like to say thanks anyway. Thanks, Sally.


  16. I’m taking 14,000 IU’s of Vitamin D3 daily. How much Vitamin D should I take, and what is the difference between the two? Is Vitamin B liquid also good to be taken, because I also take B with B12 Liquid, Please reply and Thank you very much.
    In Health
    Robert V.

  17. I increased my intake of vitamin D3, taking 4000iu after 2/3 weeks I started having problems with my skin as I am a excema sufferer, I had a feeling this high dose of vitamin D3 caused this I am taking 1000iu per day, can high doses of vitamin D3 cause this sort of reaction. fighting non stop to be cured, just started eating raw foods,organic meat, chicken, nuts, etc. have been warned not to have fish due to mercury, is this true? I am going to be cured this year. Mari South Africa

  18. Pleas let me knowwhat the difference is between vitamin D3 and vitamin D, plus how much do you advise taking ?

    Thank you


  19. I live in Australia. My daughter (38 & confined to a wheelchair) has progressive MS. I too would like to know the correct amount of D3 she should take daily. She loves sushi & I wonder if this is dangerous for her?

  20. I take Vitamin D regularly. Is there a stated ‘MS community’ (MS physicians and MS Society) position on taking Vitamin D?

  21. Thank you for the information, it is very helpful & interesting. I take 1000 I.U. of vitamin D & now I just started taking Vitamin D3 (5000).
    Again, thank you.

  22. I would be very interested to try vitamin d3 if the benefits expressed by some
    of the articles in the many contributions in the above report.I have had ms for 40 years and am now 70.My present health could be better but am able to be semi-
    mobile with the aid of a three wheel walker around the house.Ihave only ever
    taken a fish-oil preparation called Naudicel purchased from Bio-Oil
    Research in Nantwhich in Cheshire here in the UK.Could i ask for address details
    of a UK supplier,if not then a us supplier for which many thanks

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