Public health researchers from Harvard have reviewed the literature on vitamin D in MS for Lancet Neurology. It is wonderful to see mainstream research finally focussing on what we have been promoting for some years, that is the potential of widespread population supplementation with vitamin D to prevent a significant proportion of MS in the community.
The researchers suggest that on the basis of current evidence, over 70% of cases of MS in Europe and the USA could be prevented by keeping people's vitamin D levels above 100nmol/L, and that very large national or multinational controlled studies need to be done.
They also suggest studies of vitamin D supplementation, of the order of 4,000 to 10,000 IU daily, for people with a first demyelinating event, to prevent progression to definite MS, and for people with MS to slow disease progression.
These are all in line with what we have been advocating for some years. An editorial suggested there may already be a case for widespread supplementation, especially in areas like Scotland, where vitamin D levels are known to be very low, and the incidence of MS very high.
In the meantime, those of us with MS should continue to follow the guidelines for supplementation recommended on this website. This is rapidly becoming a mainstream medical approach to the management of MS.