BOSTONRemarkable new research from Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, suggests vitamin D status is linked to reduced multiple sclerosis (MS) activity and a slower disease progression rate. For the study, scientists determined if blood concentration of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) was linked to MS disease activity and progression. Their results were recently published in JAMA Neurology (JAMA Neurol. doi:10.1001/.jamaneurol.2013.5993).
Researchers measured blood 25(OH)D in nearly 500 patients, finding a 50-nmol/L increase in vitamin D levels correlated with a 57-percent lower risk of new brain lesions in the first 12 months. Similarly, the researchers linked the 50-nmol/L increase to a 57-percent lower risk of relapse, 25-percent decrease in T2 lesion volume annually and a .41-percent decreased yearly loss in brain volume from 12 to 60 months.
Among patients with MS mainly treated with interferon beta-1b, low 25(OH)D levels early in the disease course are a strong risk factor for long-term MS activity and progression," the study authors wrote.