‘Dr.Ruth’, lead researcher on the ‘Vitamin D in people with MS’ study, has given an informal update on her initial findings via the BartsMS blog. 

Part of the MS research team based at Queen Mary, University of London, the study, ‘Dr. Ruth’ thanked all participants and highlighted the extremely positive response to requests for participants as a core finding of the work, noting

‘a really important finding of this study was discovering the overwhelming interest that the MS community has in taking part in research’. 

The sample was a broad one, and ranged from individuals living in remote areas like Orkney to those in inner cities like Birmingham and London.

Studies into Vitamin D is one of the key priorities for people living with MS, Dr.Ruth shared. Key findings from this study include:

  • 70% of people with MS take a vitamin D supplement compared to less than 30% of people without MS
  • Those with MS taking supplements often take up to three times the dosage of those without MS
  • People who supplement have higher levels of serum vitamin D
  • Individual’s blood level of vitamin D correlates to the strength of supplement they take, so a higher supplement equals higher levels in their blood. 
  • Due to these variables, those with MS were less likely to be deficient in vitamin D than the control group as a result.

Dr.Ruth shares on her blog the firm foundation for additional studies into supplementation that this work has created. She also details the next step of the research, using the collected information to better understand which other factors, such as diet, time spent outdoors and use of sun protection are most relevant to influencing vitamin D levels in people living with MS, and whether this is different to people without MS. The team are also examining how common genetic variation influences vitamin D levels, and whether this differs between the participants with MS and those without MS.

To find out more about the study, read Dr.Ruth’s post on the BartsMS blog or find out about other research projects currently going on via their ‘trials and studies’ page.

  

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