I think it is very important to maintain an internal concentration of vitamin D3 both as a preventative measure and for active therapy. The current data set implies vitamin D3, in sufficient amounts, can be an extremely effective immunoregulator in preventing MS. In spite of the limited information regarding the use of D3 as an active therapy, the relationship depicted between D3 and MS lesion activity in the graphic I posted above certainly compels a person w/ MS to keep their serum content > 100 nmol/L.
My feeling is that once autoimmunity is entrenched (i.e. diagnosed) vitamin D3 maintenance will not be enough to completely halt MS activity. In this case the causal environmental factors have to be addressed. For me diet revision propelled me into remission and feeling very well. It wasn’t until three years after diet revision that I incorporated vitamin D into my routine. I can’t claim to feel better for it, yet I consider it akin to insurance. Mind you my MS was quite advanced at the time, perhaps someone not so progressed would see impressive results with D3 alone.
In 1986 Goldberg et al
treated a group of young patients having multiple sclerosis with dietary supplements containing calcium, magnesium and vitamin D for a period of one to two years. The number of exacerbations observed during the program was less than one half the number expected from case histories.
Not a proper clinical trial but it does serve to lend credence to the relationship.
Bear in mind that regardless of the source of vitamin D3 (solar UVR exposure and/or tanning bed and/or vitamin supplements) the effect on your internal levels are cumulative. Such elements as latitude, time of year, time of day, amount of exposed skin, skin pigmentation, intensity of the sun and exposure durations are proportionate to the D3 generated.
Where I reside, in Calgary Canada, despite it being sunny for most of the wintertime, sun exposure produces zero vitamin D3 (Webb et al, 1998)
,largely because of the low altitude of the sun in our winter sky.
Good info. The time for our bodies to convert UVR exposure into the vitamin D hormones is one to two months. Holick has recently claimed that UVR exposure immediately produces endorphins. Perhaps this was the means of your feeling of well-being in Spain.
Thanks for the reference to Frits AJ Muskiet et al. They state
We question whether there is at present any evidence-based medicine showing that a vitamin D intake of 100 µg/d is necessary to prevent disease either in the short term or in the long run.
Not surprising, their opinion is, considering the general ignorance of vitamin D and immunoregulation. I suspect their stance is borne of their unknowingness yet there is enough circumstantial evidence, in my opinion, to consider advocating vitamin D3 as useful in preventing diseases of autoimmunity.
Here are some compelling observational studies which indicate the need for immediate vitamin D observance to prevent MS, rheumatoid arthritis, etc. Not definitive proof but there is enough evidence methinks to merit advocating a safe, inexpensive and easy therapy such as vitamin D observance.
van der Mei et al
demonstrated that the regional variation in MS prevalence in the continent of Australia could be closely predicted (with a 95 % degree of confidence) by variations in regional ultraviolet radiation levels (i.e. vitamin D supply). In comparison, the positive correlation observed for UVR and malignant melanoma incidence was in the seventies. You certainly see consistent advice to stay out of the sun in order to thwart skin cancer despite the lack of concrete clinical evidence implicating UVR exposure. It’s circumstantial, as is the wealth of information implicating vitamin D deficiency and MS.
I mentioned earlier that this paper
discusses how Hammond et al. (2000) recently documented that British and Irish immigrants to Queensland, Australia, situated at latitude 12-28 degrees, had a striking 75% reduction in their risk of developing MS when compared with that of their native countrymen. Importantly, this reduction affected both adult and child immigrants.
Consider that these migrants benefited from incidental exposure to the powerful Aussie sun and not necessarily intentional exposure. One can only speculate on a 100 % risk reduction had these migrants purposefully got regular sun exposure.
A observational study by Ascherio et al
found women who get 400 IU of vitamin D supplements are 40 per cent less likely to develop multiple sclerosis than women who don't take supplements. Consider again what the reduced risk factor would be had these women been proactively taking an optimal immunoregulatory amount of 4,000 IU/d.
As an aside, Ascherio et al were not even considering including vitamin D in their assessment of this study population. It wasn’t until Embry caught wind of this oversight, presented them with the evidence surrounding vitamin D deficiency and MS and then the authors decided to include it in their questionnaire. As it turns out, vitamin D was the only lifestyle component they queried for that was influential wrt to MS.
MS is not unique among autoimmune diseases wrt to vitamin D. Merlino et al
that greater intake of vitamin D was inversely associated with risk of rheumatoid arthritis. Andjelkovic et al
showed vitamin D therapy had a positive effect on disease activity in 89% of the patients (45% or 9 pts. with complete remission and 44% or 8 pts. with a satisfactory effect). Only two patients (11%) showed no improvement, but no new symptoms occurred.
Without droning on, observational studies on IDDM (juvenile diabetes) and vitamin D could also be included here.
has the following offer at our website. For any North American readers, Advanced Nutritional Innovations, Inc. of Fallon, Nevada (US) announced a program to give away free bottles of its premium, high quality calcium/ magnesium supplement to help people with MS. The product has relatively high level of Vitamin D as part of a complex formulation designed to optimize the absorption and utilization of the calcium and magnesium. The product has been distributed at major U.S. retailers like GNC, SavOn Drugs, Osco Drugs, Eckerd Drug, Target, Ralphs Supermarket and many other stores. You just need to fax in this pdf form
and the bottles will be shipped to you free of charge, no strings attached. You must be diagnosed with and/or are being treated for MS. They apparently have received some positive feedback from people with MS and decided in the spirit of the holidays to give away some product to people it may help.