Vitamin D recommendations for people living with MS

The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada released evidence-based recommendations for vitamin D supplementation and maintenance of vitamin D serum levels to help people affected by multiple sclerosis. Research has shown a strong link between vitamin D deficiency and an increased risk of developing MS. The recommendations provide information for at-risk populations as well as people diagnosed with MS. The document also highlights comorbid conditions and information on toxicity associated with vitamin D supplementation. The recommendations are endorsed by The Canadian Network of Multiple Sclerosis Clinics and The Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers.

Canadians are particularly vulnerable to vitamin D deficiency due to our geographical location. Canada has one of the highest rates of multiple sclerosis in the world with 11 Canadians diagnosed with the disease every day. People with biological family members who have MS are at higher risk of developing the disease. 

In addition to decreasing the risk of developing MS, vitamin D may beneficially modify the course of MS. Other lifestyle factors that could modify a person’s risk of developing MS include past exposure to Epstein-Barr virus, smoking and secondhand tobacco exposure, and obesity. Generally, adults with MS and those at risk for MS should consume between 600 and 4000 IU of vitamin D daily to ensure sufficient intake to achieve the target serum level status.

The MS Society of Canada is investigating vitamin D protocols in each province to determine next steps in their advocacy efforts for Canadians with MS. Visit to read more about vitamin D and the MS Society’s recommendations.

. Vitamin D recommendations for people living with MS. BCMJ, Vol. 61, No. 1, January, February, 2019, Page(s) 44 - News.

Above is the information needed to cite this article in your paper or presentation. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommends the following citation style, which is the now nearly universally accepted citation style for scientific papers:
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.

About the ICMJE and citation styles

The ICMJE is small group of editors of general medical journals who first met informally in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1978 to establish guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted to their journals. The group became known as the Vancouver Group. Its requirements for manuscripts, including formats for bibliographic references developed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), were first published in 1979. The Vancouver Group expanded and evolved into the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which meets annually. The ICMJE created the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals to help authors and editors create and distribute accurate, clear, easily accessible reports of biomedical studies.

An alternate version of ICMJE style is to additionally list the month an issue number, but since most journals use continuous pagination, the shorter form provides sufficient information to locate the reference. The NLM now lists all authors.

BCMJ standard citation style is a slight modification of the ICMJE/NLM style, as follows:

  • Only the first three authors are listed, followed by "et al."
  • There is no period after the journal name.
  • Page numbers are not abbreviated.

For more information on the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, visit

BCMJ Guidelines for Authors

Leave a Reply