Australian scientists will conduct a trial to determine whether taking vitamin D supplements can prevent a diagnosis of MS in people who have experienced an initial attack of MS symptoms.
Smaller studies have previously investigated the effect of vitamin D in MS patients, but the Tasmania research is the first study to test the theory before a person is diagnosed.
The Multiple Sclerosis Prevention Trial, funded by MS Research Australia, will include 240 people from various regions of Australia at high risk of developing MS who will be given 1000, 5000, or 10,000 units of vitamin D or a placebo daily.
“MS is not uniformly distributed, it’s more common the more north or south you go,” said Professor Bruce Taylor of the Menzies Research Institute Tasmania and Royal Hobart Hospital Research Foundation. Tasmania has the highest incidence of MS in Australia, with a prevalence of 125 per 100,000 people.
“This trial will help answer two questions: Does vitamin D work? And if so, how much do we need to give?” Taylor said.
If the trial proves successful the results will be tested in a larger clinical trial. VDC will be following the study closely.