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Vitamin D


Study suggests benefits of vitamin D(23/06/15)

A team of researchers from the Isfahan University of Medical Sciences in Iran, led by Dr Masoud Etemadifar, have conducted a randomised controlled clinical study in 15 pregnant women with low vitamin D levels and multiple sclerosis.

Women treated with 50,000 IU/week (International Units) of vitamin D3 showed significantly higher vitamin D levels and fewer symptoms related to MS six months after delivery of their babies, as measured by the expanded disability status scale.

Although not statistically significant, the relapse number among the study participants also appeared to be lower in women supplemented with vitamin D.

The study did have limitations in that it was only exploratory in nature and featured a small sample size.

However, the findings revealed that, compared to routine care, the supplementation of pregnant women with MS with standard high-dose supplementation of vitamin D had a significantly positive effect on the disease.

These results are promising and warrant the need for further studies with larger sample sizes and longer follow-ups to ascertain the true safety and efficacy of supplementation in this subgroup of patients.

Source: Multiple Sclerosis News Today © BioNews Services 2015 (23/06/15)

Tags: MS, Multiple Sclerosis, Pregnancy, Vitamin D, Research

Study finds no link between vitamin D levels in newborns and multiple sclerosis(12/08/14)

A latest study debunked the association between vitamin D levels in newborns and the risk of developing multiple sclerosis in adulthood.

This study was conducted by researchers at the Karolinska Institutet. Over the recent years, it was widely accepted that low levels of vitamin D in newborn babies increase the risk of multiple sclerosis (MS) in adulthood. This is based on the studies that highlighted infants born in spring have a high risk of developing the disease as compared to those born during autumn. It was believed that low levels of sun exposure during pregnancy doubles the risk of MS in children born after winter.

This is the first time that this hypothesis has been tested; till date it was assessed through indirect observations.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is one of the most disabling neurological diseases that affect 250,000-350,000 people in the U.S. It is diagnosed in people aged between 20 and 40 years. It is estimated that nearly 2.5 million people worldwide have MS. It is not an inherited disorder, but researchers assume that there is a genetic predisposition to the development of the disease.

"There are several reasons why the link between vitamin D at birth and later risk of MS has not been directly assessed previously," explains Peter Ueda.

The levels of vitamin D at birth of MS sufferers were measured and compared with a control group. It included 459 participants with MS and 663 healthy control subjects. These participants were part of the EIMS project led by the Institute. Each participant with MS gave blood sample and was made to answer a questionnaire.

Using PKU register that contains blood samples from newborn Swedish babies from 1975 onwards, the researchers determined the levels of vitamin D from time of birth of MS patients and their controls. They developed a new technique to measure vitamin D levels in dried blood samples.

"We could not see any association between levels of vitamin D at birth and risk of MS in adulthood," said Peter Ueda. "However a weaker link cannot be ruled out, nor can the link be ruled out for people with certain genes. However, our results do not support the hypothesis of such a possibility for reducing MS risk."

The results have been published in the journal Annals of Neurology.

Source: Science World Report Copywrite Science World Report 2014 (12/08/14)

Vitamin D and acute optic neuritis in Multiple Sclerosis(22/07/14)

Factors Associated With Recovery From Acute Optic Neuritis in Patients With Multiple Sclerosis

Malik MT, Healy BC, Benson LA, et al

Study Summary

Using their multiple sclerosis (MS) database, the investigators aimed to identify clinical and demographic factors linked to severity and to prediction of recovery from acute optic neuritis (AON). Malik and colleagues enrolled 253 adults and 38 children whose first symptom of MS was AON. The investigators defined a mild AON attack as visual acuity (VA) ≤ 20/40, a moderate attack as VA 20/50-20/190, and a severe attack as ≥ 20/200. At 1 year after the AON attack, complete recovery was defined as VA ≤ 20/20, fair recovery as VA 20/40, and poor recovery as VA ≥20/50.

Proportional odds logistic regression allowed the investigators to identify demographic and clinical characteristics associated with attack severity and recovery among the entire sample. To determine the association of vitamin D level with AON severity and recovery, they analyzed a subgroup of patients for whom blood samples were available within 6 months of an AON attack.

AON recovery was worse in men (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 2.28; P = .03) and in patients with severe AON attacks (adjusted OR 5.24; P < 0.001). Although children and adults had similar AON severity, recovery was significantly better in children in the unadjusted analysis (P = .041) and in the analysis adjusted for sex (P = .029).

Vitamin D level was significantly associated with AON attack severity, after adjustment for season (OR for 10-IU increase in vitamin D level, 0.47; 95% confidence interval, 0.32-0.68; P < .001). However, vitamin D level was not associated with recovery from the AON attack in univariate analysis (P = .98) or after adjustment for AON attack severity (P = .10).


Study limitations include the observational design, relatively small sample size, and inability to prove causality. In addition, vitamin D levels were available for only a subgroup of patients. Nonetheless, the findings suggest that vitamin D levels may affect AON severity, whereas younger age, attack severity, and male sex may affect AON recovery. Further clarification of the underlying pathophysiology may uncover potential therapeutic targets and strategies to limit progression of disability in MS.

Primary Source: Neurology. 2014;82:2173-2179

Source: Medscape Multispeciality Copyright © 1994-2014 by WebMD LLC (22/07/14)

Neonatal vitamin D status and risk of multiple sclerosis(21/07/14)

Ueda P, Rafatnia F, Bäärnhielm M, Fröbom R, Korzunowicz G, Lönnerbro R, Hedström AK, Eyles D, Olsson T, Alfredsson L.


Objective: Low vitamin D status at birth may be associated with risk of adult onset multiple sclerosis, but this link has not been studied directly. We assessed the relation between neonatal vitamin D concentrations, measured in stored blood samples, and risk of multiple sclerosis.

Methods: This was a population-based case-control study in Sweden including 459 incident cases of multiple sclerosis and 663 controls, randomly drawn from a national population registry and frequency matched on sex, age and residential area.

Results: There was no association between neonatal 25-hydroxyvitamin D quintile and risk of multiple sclerosis (crude odds ratio 1.0, 95% confidence interval 0.68 to 1.44, for the highest quintile compared to the lowest). Adjusting for a number of potential confounding factors in early life (month of birth, latitude of birth, breastfeeding) and in adult life (25-hydroxyvitamin D, sun exposure, vitamin D intake from dairy products, fat fish consumption, smoking, body mass index at 20 years of age) as well as ancestry, multiple sclerosis heredity, and socioeconomic group, did not considerably affect the result.

Interpretation: At a broad population level, 25-hydroxyvitamin D at birth was not associated with risk of multiple sclerosis.

Source: Ann Neurol. 2014 Jul 1. doi: 10.1002/ana.24210. & Pubmed PMID: 24985080 (21/07/14)

Labels: MS | multiple sclerosis | Vitamin D |