A Clinical trial will test whether Vitamin D can help fight multiple sclerosis (MS).
If successful, researchers say the trial could open the door to a treatment which is 100 times cheaper than other drugs available.
The $2 million trial, announced today by MS Research Australia, will begin recruiting in Victoria, NSW, Tasmania and New Zealand from April.
Researchers hope to find 150 people with early or suspected symptoms of MS and put them on varying doses of Vitamin D.
"If we can ... watch to see if that actually slows the progress or stops the progress, and they don't actually get MS, then we know Vitamin D is having an effect," MS Research Australia CEO Jeremy Wright said.
The vitamin, which can be sourced from sunlight and some foods, is gaining credence as an effective treatment in preventing MS.
But all the evidence so far has been circumstantial, Mr Wright said.
"If we can prove the efficacy we are going to come up with a treatment which, would you believe, is about 100 times cheaper than the current treatments," Mr Wright said.
"But it won't be a solo treatment. It will join the other treatments and add impacts, is what we expect."
He said it was hoped the study would show some results in five years.
Some 20,000 Australians are diagnosed with MS, an incurable disease which attacks the central nervous system and can cause bladder dysfunction, spasticity, depression and cognitive problems.
Source: The Australian © 2012 The Australian (23/02/12) five years?