Vitamin D deficiency diminishes the severity and delays onset of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis.Arch Biochem Biophys 2011; 513(2):140-3AB
Multiple sclerosis incidence is clearly inversely related to sun exposure. This observation led to the idea that vitamin D might be responsible for this relationship. Providing super-physiologic doses of the hormonal form of vitamin D, 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D₃, suppresses an animal model of multiple sclerosis, i.e. experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) but causes unwanted hypercalcemia. Further, dietary calcium is needed for this activity of 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D₃. B10PL mice were maintained on a vitamin D-deficient diet for two generations to produce frank vitamin D deficiency. These animals showed delayed onset and reduced severity of EAE compared to control animals on the same diet and given vitamin D₃ or provided a vitamin D-containing chow diet. Thus, vitamin D deficiency interferes with the development of this autoimmune disease rather than increasing susceptibility.