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MS is a dreaded disease that often affects young people and may cause severe lifelong disabilities. For some reason the immune system attacks the nervous system damaging it. There is no cure, only drugs that, at best, may slow disease progression. There is a great need for something else to use in the battle against MS.
Last fall two Swedish scientists warned that people with vitamin D deficiency were more frequently affected by MS. A previous study has also shown that people with MS who were randomized to receive vitamin D supplements became healthier than the control group [1 2]. This isn’t too surprising as vitamin D affects the function of the immune system, and vitamin D deficiency is common.
One more study now shows that vitamin D supplementation may slow or prevent disease progression in cases of suspected MS, that were detected early. In this study vitamin D doses of 50 000 IU weekly were used, i.e. approximately 7 000 IU daily. More about the study:
Even more studies on MS and vitamin D are currently under way, but this already looks very promising. Presently, it makes sense for anyone suffering from MS to supplement with vitamin D. It is safe, so the potential gains (fewer lifelong disabilities) are gigantic in comparison to the cost.
Do you know anyone who should know about this?
PS: How much vitamin D should you take if you have MS? My general recommendation is 2 000 – 5 000 IU daily depending on body weight. The two studies that have shown a positive effect on MS used doses of 3 000 and 7 000 IU daily, respectively. Thus, my recommendation for MS patients is 5 000 IU daily. If you’re taking significantly higher doses than this over a long period of time, you should check your blood levels of vitamin D.
This amazing TED story was published two weeks ago and already has about 60 000 views on YouTube. I suppose many readers have already seen it, but for the rest of you – here it is.
Dr Terry Wahls developed severe MS and despite cutting-edge medication she got worse and worse. A few years ago she could hardly move, couldn’t get out of her special chair. Then she started eating real food, hard-core Paleo. Probably the healthiest food you could find. She didn’t have time to discuss it in her talk but she also started taking vitamin D. She emulated a hunter-gatherer life.
Now, a couple of years later, she is walking, bicycling and riding again. Pretty amazing.
This is just an anecdote, it doesn’t really prove anything by itself. But there are many reasons to believe that our modern lifestyles and modern junk food is making millions of people sick. Dr Wahl’s story is a fantastic illustration of what could be possible.
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