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 https://mssociety.ca/hot-topics/vitamin-d to read more about vitamin D and the MS Society’s recommendations.
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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.
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