Topic / Other MS News

Vitamin D has stronger beneficial immune effects for women with MS

A new study in the Journal of Immunology shows that vitamin D3 has protective effects in MS that are even greater for women than men.

Scientists from Buenos Aires in Argentina have provided yet more evidence of beneficial immune effects of vitamin D3 in people with MS.

This group has a good track record in vitamin D research in MS, previously showing the connection between low vitamin D levels and relapses.

The current research, published in the Journal of Immunology, shows a strikingly stronger beneficial immune effect of vitamin D in women than in men, probably related to interaction with female oestrogen-type hormones.

The authors note that it is likely that high blood levels will be required in people with MS to achieve optimal immune effects, rather higher than the levels needed for optimal bone health. A number of suggestions come from this study.

Certainly for post-menopausal women with MS, there is accumulating evidence that there may well be beneficial effects from hormone-replacement therapy. But in particular, it appears to be very important to maintain high blood levels of vitamin D. Of course, this is best obtained through regular small amounts of sun exposure, but in many parts of the world, supplementation with vitamin D is necessary.

The doses discussed on this website are likely to raise levels to offer some protective immune effects without the risk of side effects. 

Vitamin D