Article

Vitamin D and multiple sclerosis.

Department of Exercise and Nutrition Science, School of Public Health and Health Professions, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14214, USA.
Critical reviews in food science and nutrition (Impact Factor: 5.55). 11/2012; 52(11):980-7. DOI: 10.1080/10408398.2010.516034
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory disease of the central nervous system and characterized by neurological and cognitive manifestations. The disease is more common in populations living in high altitudes with low sun exposure, women more than men, and certain ethnic backgrounds more than others. The etiology of MS is yet unknown, although several factors have been implicated in its development. These include genetic factors and environmental factors as well as dietary components and their interactions. Among the dietary components that have recently attracted the attention is vitamin D. This mini-review summarizes current knowledge on the potential use of vitamin D in the protection and treatment of MS. In addition, the mechanism(s) by which vitamin D plays a role in the development and/or protection from MS are discussed.

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    • "The relationship of vitamin D with the immune system is being intensely discussed. It has been shown that vitamin D induces immune tolerance [Weiss, 2011], vitamin D deficiency being related to the development of autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis [Ho et al. 2012; Holmøy et al. 2012, Weinstock-Guttman et al. 2012], "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: An association between multiple sclerosis (MS) prevalence as well as MS mortality and vitamin D nutrition has led to the hypothesis that high levels of vitamin D could be beneficial for MS. The purpose of this systematic review is to establish whether there is evidence for or against vitamin D in the treatment of MS. Methods: Systematic literature searches were performed to locate randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trials measuring the clinical effect of vitamin D on MS in human participants. Data were extracted in a standardized manner, and methodological quality was assessed by the Jadad score. Results: Five trials were located that met the selection criteria. Of the 5 trials, 4 showed no effect of vitamin D on any outcome, and 1 showed a significant effect, namely by a reduction in the number of T1 enhancing lesions on brain magnetic resonance imaging. Three studies commented on adverse effects of vitamin D, with gastrointestinal adverse effects being the most frequently reported. The literature is limited by small study sizes (ranging from 23 to 68 patients), heterogeneity of dosing, form of vitamin D tested (vitamin D3 in 4 trials and vitamin D2 in 1) and clinical outcome measures. Therefore, a meta-analysis was not performed. Conclusions: The evidence for vitamin D as a treatment for MS is inconclusive. Larger studies are warranted to assess the effect of vitamin D on clinical outcomes in patients with MS. We further encourage researchers to also test the effect of vitamin D on the health-related quality of life experienced by patients and their families.
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