For those searching for the nutritional issues underlying MS, levels of vitamin D feature prominently on the list of factors that trigger the development of multiple sclerosis. Levels of vitamin D in the body are reflective of individuals’ dietary intake of vitamin D and of their degree of exposure to sunshine. Those who somehow fail to get sufficient levels of vitamin D in their bodies suffer ill health.

Countries that experience cold winters, for instance, nations in Europe and North America, are also home to the populations most vulnerable to MS. Levels of vitamin D in the bodies of the affected people tend to be low because, for a significant part of the year, they do not get much exposure to the sunlight. They are all bundled up in warm clothing, and often spend the days indoors, away from the cold. Additionally, they don’t get sufficient dietary vitamin D. As a result, they develop vitamin D deficiency.


Understanding MS: Levels of Vitamin D and Their Influence on a Patient’s Health


Because vitamin D plays a pivotal role in the body, vitamin D deficiency is implicated in many health problems. First off, it is associated with increased mortality in general. Additionally, vitamin D deficiency causes osteomalacia in adults and rickets in children. These are terms used to describe low bone density or weak bones. Individuals suffering from this condition have frequent falls and are at a higher risk of developing fractures. Vitamin D deficiency is also associated with some forms of cancer, cardiovascular issues, vulnerabilities in the immune system, and neurodegenerative diseases.

Vitamin D deficiency is clearly implicated in the triggering and development of multiple sclerosis, but the exact mechanisms by which this happens remain unclear. All that can be said for certain is that increasing one’s vitamin D intake helps to protect one from the likelihood of developing multiple sclerosis. In those people with a genetic predisposition towards developing multiple sclerosis, the vitamin seems to play a role that is directly associated with their MS genes.

Many questions remain about multiple sclerosis. Levels of vitamin D seem to play an important role in the development of the disease, but it has also been pointed out that, to a certain extent, the symptoms of multiple sclerosis are similar to the symptoms of magnesium deficiency. So it seems possible that, in at least some cases of MS, levels of different types of nutrients ultimately contribute to the body’s vulnerability. Perhaps these nutrients all interact with each other in the same set of biochemical reactions.