The role of vitamin D in multiple sclerosis.
To evaluate the literature about the role of vitamin D in the prevention and treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS).
MEDLINE (1966-April 2006) and International Pharmaceutical Abstracts (1970-April 2006) searches were performed. In addition, pertinent references from identified articles were obtained. Key search terms included vitamin D, 25-hydroxyvitamin D, vitamin D deficiency, and multiple sclerosis.
Vitamin D supplementation prevented the development and progression of experimental autoimmune encephalitis, an animal model of MS, in mice. A large, prospective, cohort study found that vitamin D supplementation was associated with a 40% reduction in the risk of developing MS. Four small, noncontrolled studies suggested that vitamin D supplementation may decrease exacerbation of MS symptoms.
Vitamin D supplementation may help prevent the development of MS and may be a useful addition to therapy. However, current studies are in small populations and are confounded by other variables, such as additional vitamin and mineral supplementation.
Drug Information Service, Skaggs School of Pharmacy, College of Health Professions and Biomedical Sciences, The University of Montana, Missoula, 59812-1522, USA. email@example.com