Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a disease of autoimmunity and inflammation characterized by destruction of the myelin sheath that insulates and protects neurons. When a patient experiences an "attack," or episode of increased disease activity, the resultant impairment of neuronal communication can manifest as a broad spectrum of symptoms, affecting sensory processing, locomotion, and cognition.
Scientific research suggests both genetic and environmental factors contribute to the development of the disease. Current medical treatments for MS include potent immunosuppressive drugs, which reduce immune function, and anti-inflammatory medications as well as invasive procedures such as plasma exchange, which attempts to reduce inflammatory mediators in a patient's blood.
Largely ignored and discounted by mainstream medicine, nutrients offer immune-modifying benefits that can help complement pharmacological and clinical interventions and improve quality of life for MS patients.
Furthermore, mounting evidence suggests vitamin D may be a missing link in virtually all autoimmune diseases, including MS. This single vitamin has the ability to modulate the immune system in ways that even pharmaceutical drugs cannot. A multitude of epidemiological studies have revealed that individuals with low levels of vitamin D in their blood are at considerably increased risk for developing MS; in fact, up to 90% of MS patients are deficient in vitamin D.1