As most of you know by now I am a big fan of Vitamin D. So, I was very interested in a medical article by Dr. Coimbra, Professor of Neurology in one of the medical schools in Brazil. He was talking about his research on the use of very high levels of Vitamin D and its effects on multiple sclerosis (MS). He has treated thousands of MS patients from around the world with his vitamin D protocol and has had a 95% success rate with M.S. He also treated a number of other auto-immune patients such as ones with rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, etc. and had similar results. Around the time I was looking at high doses of Vitamin D I came across an article by professor Holick, who is a Professor of Medicine at Harvard and Boston University and head of the presidential commission on Vitamin D. He recently came out with a study he was involved in where they took M.S. patients and ran their Vitamin D levels in the 250-300 nanogram/milliliter and the patients were remarkably improved. We normally keep their Vitamin D levels in the 30-100 range. Now let me say that all the patients in the studies were followed closely and electrolytes were watched as high doses of Vitamin D can affect some of the body’s electrolytes and cause problems.
Last week I was with a patient who was diagnosed with Type I diabetes. He required insulin every day to survive. The University of Miami next year is starting a protocol with high dose Vitamin D along with some other supplements and it appears this may help type I diabetes get off insulin. These studies all involved people with auto-immune diseases. So why use Vitamin D? There are several reasons. The first reason is every cell in your body has a Vitamin D receptor. So, we know Vitamin D is important for every cell to function properly. Vitamin D is not a vitamin it is a hormone like estrogen, or testosterone. Vitamin D modulates the body’s immune system. Patients taking increased Vitamin D tend to reset the immune system back to normal. It does not make auto-immune diseases worse. Studies show that certain individuals benefit more from Vitamin D supplementation than others. There are a number of variables that effect Vitamin D absorption, i.e. genetics, lifestyle, and underlying diseases. What Vitamin D doses one patient takes may not be enough for you.
My experience with elevated Vitamin D has been very gratifying both for me to see the patient’s improvement and for the patient to start feeling better. My daughter has an immune problem and we were told she would be on antibiotics every month for the rest of her life. Looking at her now she is 9 years old and has never been on an antibiotic regimen. Her Vitamin D is 233! My rheumatoid arthritis patients all seem to notice at Vitamin D levels of 150-200 most of their pain is gone! I like doing high doses of Vitamin D for M.S. and the other auto immune diseases because it really does make a difference. Talk to your doctor and I am sure they would do high dose Vitamin D protocols for auto-immune conditions. The side effects are minimal vs the drug side effects for auto-immune diseases.
John Young, M.D.