Pot of vitamin D tablets spilt out, featured image for a blog focused around high-does vitamin D has no effect on relapse rate

High-dose vitamin D has no effect on relapse rate

A new meta-analysis has found that taking a high dose of vitamin D does not slow down the development of new lesions in multiple sclerosis (MS).

New lesions are a sign that areas of the brain or spinal cord have been damaged.

The study was titled ‘Vitamin D3 as an add-on treatment for multiple sclerosis: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials,’ and was published in Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders.

Researchers also found high dose vitamin D didn’t change the speed at which disability worsened, or the frequency of relapses. This backs up previous research which has found high-dose vitamin D doesn’t change the disease’s course.

Vitamin D is often the subject of studies because there appears to be a link between low vitamin D levels in the body and an increased risk for developing MS. But there’s no clear evidence that supplementing can either prevent the condition or stop it getting worse.

This study looked at previous trials involving a total of 867 patients with relapsing remitting MS. Compared to a placebo or low-dose vitamin D, the high-dose vitamin D when taken as an add-on treatment to a disease-modifying therapy did not give a significant reduction in Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) scores, in a timeframe of between six months and two years.

The dosage did not have a significant effect on the amount of T2 lesions seen on an MRI scan. There was, however, an observed tendency for there to be fewer lesions in patients taking high-dose vitamin D, but not enough to be significant.

The number of relapses in a one-year window, known as the annualised relapse rate (ARR), was also not affected by high-dose vitamin D.

As an “add-on for the treatment of MS,” the researchers wrote, high-dose vitamin D supplementation “has no significant impact on EDSS, ARR or new T2 lesions in the short and medium term,” but the “nonsignificant reduction of new T2 lesions could precede long-term clinical benefits and should be validated in additional studies.”

To find out more about the role of vitamin D in multiple sclerosis, why not download our free vitamin D Choices booklet?

Any questions about anything to do with MS? Please call our helpline on 0800 783 0518, email info@ms-uk.org or send us a message on WhatssApp 07824708897.