In the meantime, a few things are clear about vitamin D and how it works in the body. This nutrient plays a big part in maintaining healthy bodies in general. It helps to maintain the immune system and fight inflammation. It aids in healthy cell growth, which is useful in preventing osteoporosis, a bone-thinning disease that people with multiple sclerosis are at increased risk for. And vitamin D provides a valuable general service in boosting the immune system, which is beneficial since infections can trigger flare-ups of MS symptoms.
People with multiple sclerosis can benefit from keeping their levels of vitamin D high through their diet. Vitamin D is found naturally in certain foods (including fish, cheese, and eggs) and is artificially added to others (milk, breakfast cereals, orange juice, and margarine). But the easiest, cheapest — and possibly best — source of vitamin D is actually our own bodies: When sunlight hits our skin, it triggers our bodies to make vitamin D.
Diet and MS Risk: Vitamin B12
Other data suggest that another vitamin — or the lack thereof — may also play a role in the development of multiple sclerosis. Low levels of vitamin B12 have been linked to more severe MS and more difficulty in recovering from severe attacks, or flares, of the disease. Vitamin B12 is found in such foods as meat, eggs, and fortified milk and is also available through vitamin supplements.