Vitamin D & MS in Sweden
Recently, I cited a study from the UK, which showed a probable link between mothers with low Vitamin D levels during pregnancy and Multiple Sclerosis (MS) years later in their children. Now a study from Sweden has been published in “Neurology” with different data, different analyses, and somewhat different conclusions.
Swedish researchers analyzed actual blood samples. They found a clear link between low Vitamin D levels and later MS in the women involved. They did not find a link to MS in their children, but acknowleged that the small study numbers limited their analysis and conclusions. Both studies indicate that low Vitamin D levels can be harmful.
The Swedish study used the Vitamin D blood level of 75 nmol/dl (30 ng/ml) as a single dividing line. Some larger studies have compared persons with 30 ng/ml and above to persons with 20 ng/ml and below. Clear differences are much more commonly found when the middle group does not get lumped into one of the truly divergent groups.
Not every person needs the exact same level of Vitamin D (or any other nutrient) to avoid major adverse effects. I side with those clinicians who believe that a few people are OK in the low 20’s and that a few people are in trouble in the high 30’s. I recommend 40 ng/ml and above as the “optimal natural level”.
The take home message is the same in the studies from the UK and Sweden. Test for 25-hydroxy Vitamin D. Supplement as needed. Tablets, capsules, drops, cod liver oil (tasty), and 3/4 pound of salmon daily all can work. Take Control Naturally with Vitamin D3.
Jay Ginther, MD