~ Vitamin D Levels May Play Role in Multiple Sclerosis Disease Activity

FaxWatch Inc., 05-25-05

A recent study indicates that lower vitamin D levels detected during MS relapses than in remission demonstrate that vitamin D may be involved in the regulation of MS clinical disease activity.

Researchers measured the level of vitamin D in the blood of 40 MS patients at the time of their diagnosis as well as in 40 subjects without MS. The results showed no differences in the vitamin D levels between the two groups overall. There were also no differences between the two groups when blood samples obtained during the winter months were compared.

However, for blood samples obtained from June to September, the MS patients had significantly lower blood vitamin D levels than those without MS.

Throughout the entire year, the vitamin D stores were adequate for maintaining bone health in 70 percent of the MS patients. However, at some point during the year, 30 percent of the MS subjects had insufficient levels of vitamin D.

When the vitamin D levels were assessed during periods of MS relapse, the levels were lower than during remission. The authors did note that the range of vitamin D levels during remission were primarily within the range for healthy bone maintenance.

"The optimal [blood] levels of vitamin D for the regulation of immune responses remain to be determined," the investigators concluded. This study can be found in the June issue of the journal Multiple Sclerosis.

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