Ask the Register: Vitamin D and MS

“I take a ‘high dose’ Vitamin D supplement every day, how many other people on the MS Register take Vitamin D?”

Did you know you can enter more than just your Disease Modifying Treatments in our medication questionnaire? Many of you did and have listed the supplements that you take.

9929 people who have answered the medication questionnaire
12.6% of you take Vitamin D supplementation.

The clinical community is learning a great deal about the role that Vitamin D plays in MS, but they still don’t know for sure if Vitamin D supplements could help manage MS. The MS Society has researching the effects of Vitamin D as one of their top ten research priorities.

We recently published a paper on ‘Sun, sea and season of birth’
looking at data we have from Wales.

Map and figures taken from paper ‘Sunshine, Sea, and Season of Birth: MS Incidence in Wales’

The paper was an attempt to explore if sunshine, proximity to the sea, and month of birth can be linked with the incidence of MS in Wales.

Some of the results we found were:

  • More northerly areas (increased latitude) had a higher incidence.
  • Areas with more sunshine had lower incidence (Figures 1 & 2).
  • More easterly coastal areas had lower incidence (Figure 4).

And before you pack up and move to the coast, it seemed that the benefit of being in a coastal area is debatable because coastal areas in the south tended to be areas with higher sunshine.