Background and purpose: Low 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] levels correlate with higher disease activity in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). However, it is not clear whether low 25(OH)D levels directly contribute to increased disease activity or merely represent a consequence of reduced endogenous vitamin D synthesis in more disabled MS patients. Furthermore, recent data suggest that bioavailable vitamin D, which also integrates the levels of vitamin D binding proteins and albumin, could be a biologically more relevant parameter than 25(OH)D.
Methods: Measured de-seasonalized 25(OH)D3 and vitamin D binding protein and calculated bioavailable and free vitamin D were compared in the baseline serum samples of 76 patients with clinically isolated syndrome enrolled in a longitudinal observational study and in 76 age- and sex-matched healthy controls (HC).
Results: 25(OH)D3 levels were lower in patients with clinically isolated syndrome (P = 0.002) than in HC, and more patients (8/76, 10.5%) than HC (1/76, 1.3%) had 25(OH)D3 levels <25 nmol/l (P = 0.03). In contrast, levels of 25(OH)D2, vitamin D binding protein and calculated levels of free and bioavailable vitamin D did not differ between the two groups.
Conclusions: Lower 25(OH)D3 levels already in the earliest phase of disease and in clinically hardly affected patients suggest that low 25(OH)D3 levels are rather a risk factor for than a consequence of MS. Nevertheless, because bioavailable vitamin D levels did not differ between the two groups, the mechanism underlying the association of 25(OH)D3 and MS does not appear to be related to reduced bioavailability of vitamin D.
Keywords: 25-hydroxyvitamin D; bioavailable vitamin D; clinically isolated syndrome; multiple sclerosis; risk factor; vitamin D binding protein.
© 2015 EAN.