Vitamin D & MS

There are many theories on the causes of Multiple Sclerosis but the one that is always coming up is VITAMIN D deficiency.

It has been proven that Vitamin D supplementation can slow relapse and progression of MS. Vitamin D3 is natural and Vitamin D2 is synthetic. Of course you know which one I choose to use. I take approximately 8000 IU of vitamin D3 daily. You can get vitamin D from oily fish but it is in such small amounts that you need to supplement. The best source of Vitamin D is from the sun. Exposure to your bare arms and legs for 30 minutes a day is a good dose. Of course you should not be out in the sun in the peak hours of the day. You can benefit from Vitamin D from sunshine around 9:00 a.m. and around 4:00 p.m.

Debates about how much vitamin D supplementation is safe to take daily is ongoing. Some scientists and doctors say 4000 IU is enough and others feel that you can go as high as 10,000 IU daily. I am playing it in the middle of this range and have opted for 8000 IU.

It seems that more children today are developing Multiple Sclerosis because they spend less time outdoors than children of past generations. The use of high SPF sunscreen also lessens the absorbtion of Vitamin D from the sun.

Health Canada suggests that all healthy breastfed babies should receive D supplementation of 400 IU daily. This should begin at birth and should continue until the child’s diet includes 400 IU of vitamin D from food sources or the child has reached the age of 1 year. Formula fed babies get enough vitamin D from their formula. Children with blood relatives with MS need higher doses than the general population.

The geographical latitude of Canada as well as the call to minimize sun exposure due to risk of skin damage plays a roll.

Some symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency are:

  • constipation
  • muscle weakness
  • irritability
  • low immune function

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