Vitamin D and autoimmune disease--implications for practice from the multiple sclerosis literature

J Am Diet Assoc. 2006 Mar;106(3):418-24. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2005.12.009.


Recent studies and commentaries link vitamin D with several autoimmune diseases, including multiple sclerosis (MS). Adequate vitamin D intake reduces inflammatory cytokines through control of gene expression, thus inadequate vitamin D intake is suggested as a mechanism that could contribute to inflammation and, consequently, development of MS. Poor vitamin D status has been associated with increased risk for development of MS, and patients with MS may suffer consequences of vitamin D deficiency, such as bone loss. Animal studies and very limited human data suggest possible benefit from vitamin D supplementation in patients with MS. Based on the current state of research, a key principle for practicing dietetics professionals is to include vitamin D status in nutritional assessment. For those at risk for poor vitamin D status, intake can be enhanced by food-based advice and, when indicated, vitamin D supplementation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoimmune Diseases / blood
  • Autoimmune Diseases / etiology
  • Autoimmune Diseases / prevention & control
  • Diet / standards
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Multiple Sclerosis* / blood
  • Multiple Sclerosis* / etiology
  • Multiple Sclerosis* / prevention & control
  • Nutritional Requirements
  • Nutritional Status
  • Risk Factors
  • Vitamin D / administration & dosage*
  • Vitamin D / blood*
  • Vitamin D / metabolism
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / blood
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / complications*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / drug therapy


  • Vitamin D