A study published online in the journal Neurology showed that patients suffering from multiple sclerosis who took high dose cholecalciferol, also known as vitamin D3, had been observed to have improved levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and significant immunologic improvements as well.
According to Medscape on Thursday, the research team, headed by Dr. Peter A. Calabresi of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, noted that a decreased serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D are linked with a higher risk for multiple sclerosis.
Furthermore, studies on Vitamin D supplementation in animals revealed that the treatment can halt or improve the murine model of multiple sclerosis known as experimental autoimmune encephalitis.
"Future studies are warranted to further elucidate the molecular mechanisms of these effects and ongoing randomized controlled clinical trials will be instrumental to establish the clinical utility of cholecalciferol as a novel immunomodulatory therapy for MS," concluded the researchers.
To come up with the conclusion, the researchers evaluated 40 people with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, while giving them a daily dose of either 800 international units (IU) or 10,400 IU of vitamin D3 supplements for six months, which is higher than the recommended daily dose of 600 IU, noted International Business Times on Jan. 4.
Patients taking the higher vitamin D dose were reported to have a drop in the levels of their specific immune system T cells, which is associated with multiple sclerosis, while no change was observed in patients taking the lower dose.
For every five nanograms per liter increase in Vitamin D, a drop by one percent in T cells had been noted.
Calabresi is hopeful that the decrease in T cell would reduce the severity of multiple sclerosis in patients.
"These results are exciting, as vitamin D has the potential to be an inexpensive, safe and convenient treatment for people with MS," noted Calabresi. "More research is needed to confirm these findings with larger groups of people and to help us understand the mechanisms for these effects, but the results are promising."