Lately I’ve read a virtual ton of reports and studies about Vitamin D and its possible cause and effects when it comes to Multiple Sclerosis. I think it’s great that science seems to be homing in on Vitamin D deficiency as being at least one of the likely players in this complex disease. I’m also glad to see that many Neurologists are now advising their patients to start taking a Vitamin D3 supplement as a possible way to slow down the progression of MS and Alzheimer’s as well. I do take it, and I honestly feel, that it helps.
However, when I start seeing advertisements for very expensive UV lighting apparatus marketed to people who have been diagnosed with MS to help them boost their skin’s ability to develop more of this vital vitamin on their own, then I start to have a problem. The first one should be obvious to almost everyone, in that, UV lighting can be a very dangerous way of trying to enhance your skins ability to produce more vitamin D when the increased prevalence of developing skin cancer is factored in. And second, I am not at all sure that more Sun light from either the Sun or artificial UV lighting is where the true problem exists.
Why? Because as a kid I spent seemingly all day every day outside whenever I could all year long, which makes me think that the problem may lye more in the skins ability to convert sunlight into Vitamin D then the actual amount of Sunlight that a person receives over any given period of time. It’s already a fairly well established fact that people with darker skin pigment are far less likely to develop MS in the first place then individuals, like my self, who have much fairer skin tone to begin with. My opinion is that it is far more likely that a genetic defect in the skin itself is mostly to blame for my skin’s inability to produce this vitamin on its own.
And I just don’t think that using artificial light in this way is a beneficial addition to people like me. And in fact, it may be far more dangerous in the end then just adding a Vitamin D3 supplement to your diet. But that is a risk that each one of us must first weigh and ultimately decide on our own!
Vitamins by Nature Made
Apparently in the scientific field there is some question as to whether Vitamin D3 is really a vitamin or a hormone. This vitamin seems to have some unique properties that fit into either or both groups but for my purposes here I’ll just refer to it as a vitamin.
If you’ve been watching research about multiple sclerosis lately you may have noticed that a lack of Vitamin D3, is suspected of playing a major role in the development of this disease. The theory is that many of us with MS may not, especially as children, had the ability to produce enough of this essential vitamin in our skin to keep this disease from developing as we got older in life. They came up with this theory based on the fact that people who live closer to the equator, with its more intense sun light, have a much rarer occurrence of MS then do people who live farther away from it. In fact those people who live very close to our planets equator have almost a zero rate of MS compared to the rest of us.
With all of that in mind I decided that it would be in my best interest to start taking Vitamin D3. In fact many neurologists are starting to tell their MS patients that it is probably a good idea to supplement their daily vitamins with an additional 5000 units of D3. In my case, and with my doctors blessing, I started taking 10,000 units a day. My doctor ran blood levels every six months for almost two years while I was on this high dose regimen and each time the results came back with in the normal range. After two years she no longer ordered them figuring that it was not going to be a factor.
And yes, after many years of being on high dose Vitamin D3 I do think I have had a positive response to this as a therapy against my disease progression. I still have an attack every couple of years that lasts a few months but they don’t seem to be nearly as intense as they were before I started my high dose intake. And what’s even more encouraging to me is that I used to have several smaller attacks that would last for a few days and then subside and now since taking this vitamin it has been several years since I have had any of these less intense events. And to be fair I also started Copaxone injections three years ago as well and that also could have made a significant difference in my disease progression but I am satisfied enough with this vitamin to continue its use.
As always, if you decide to look into adding Vitamin D3 in your morning vitamins and supplements, always ask your doctor first and it would probably be a good idea to have your blood levels checked from time to time as I did just to make sure you’re not over doing it. And who knows, maybe soon they will find that Vitamin D3 mixed with something else will be the magic cure that we all pray and dream for!