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Study under review: Safety and immunologic effects of high- vs low-dose cholecalciferol in multiple sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is the most prevalent immune-mediated disease affecting the central nervous system (CNS). The CNS is made up of the brain and spinal cord, which are responsible for controlling the functions of your body. The precise causes of MS are currently unknown.
However, it is well-established that the effects of MS involve a degradation of the nerves of the brain and spinal cord (as seen in Figure 1). These nerves transport electrical signals all around your body, allowing for activities like voluntary movement. Nerves are insulated by the myelin sheath, which protects the signal quality of these electrical transmissions. With MS, the myelin insulation is damaged, affecting the ability of nerve cells to effectively communicate. In addition to affecting movement patterns, MS also impairs cognitive ability, a symptom that worsens as the disease progresses over years.
Many immunologic, genetic, and environmental variables have been implicated in the pathology of MS. One variable examined has been the connection between the risk of MS and vitamin D levels. Some studies have shown that decreases in MS related relapses are associated with higher vitamin D levels. The underlying mechanism is not entirely understood, but one hypothesis about this relationship is that vitamin D is able to modify or help regulate certain aspects of the immune system, such as inflammatory T cells, that have been linked to the development of MS.
However, questions still remain about what a safe dose of vitamin D may be and what role this vitamin may play in the immune system. The study under review investigates the safety and immunologic effects of a high versus low dose of vitamin D in patients with MS.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is thought to have an immune system-mediated component to its development. Factors such as vitamin D status may play a role in its prevalence due, in part, to vitamin D’s interactions with the immune system. The current study investigates the effects a high or low dose of vitamin D has on immune functions of people with MS.
Other Articles in Issue #16 (February 2016)
Dieting, with a side of extra protein
For many lifters, it’s been a mantra that you just can’t gain muscle while being in a heavy calorie deficit. That statement was put to the test in this trial of a high protein diet.
Promoting ‘high quality’ weight loss: protein and weights
By Stuart Phillips, PhD
Vitamin E bioavailability isn’t always the same
The vast majority of people don’t meet the recommended intake level for vitamin E. And it turns out that certain people may not absorb vitamin E as well as others, and they might actually be the ones who need it most.
Spice up your satiety?
The active ingredient in spicy food, capsaicin, seems to have some effect on satiety. But researchers weren’t quite sure what it was or how it happens, until this highly controlled experiment was done
Little bugs for big depression
Your gut and your brain communicate much more often than you’d think. In fact, all the time. Hence the potential for consuming gut inhabitants (aka probiotics) and impacting brain-related maladies
Fish oil incorporation: where do other fats fit in?
When you buy and take a fish oil supplement, the story doesn’t end there. It still needs to be incorporated into cell membranes. This study looked at how other fats may impact that process
The Tyranny of the Outlier: Focusing on the best of the best sometimes diminishes the rest of us
By Lou Schuler
Have a nice trip, see you next fall
Some preliminary evidence has pointed to a potentially greater risk of falls for elderly people taking vitamin D. That’s put to the test in this year-long randomized trial.
The newest index on the block… the hydration index!
Hydration has become more of a marketing term than a scientifically accurate one. These researchers created an index to specifically measure the hydration impact of different beverages, from milk to coffee to beer