As you know we have posted on this paper already and we were rather critical of the paper, because the refereeing was frankly rubbish. However what do we know? This study in mice has been picked as Editors choice in the journal Brain and it got a special mention in ECTRIMS2019. The home message that too much vitamin D was going to make your MS worse. I am sure this headline gets the journalists going
We said the central problem was that in constrast to what is said in the abstract and results, there was no effect of standard dose vitamin D, saying why bother with vitamin D in the first place?
Throughout the manuscript it says vitamin D makes things better and then in the figure and in the discussion saying it was not-significant. Meaning there was no effect of vitamin D. Mice live in holes and come out in the dark and so their vitamin D evolution is not going to be the same as human stuff.
However, there was a question mark raised by MD2, because vitamin D is the active ingredient in rat poison. It hardens the blood vessels of the rodents due to calcium deposition. In this study were fed mouse poison at a 10th of an acutely lethal dose for 12 weeks and so was the apparent worsening, because some of the mice had pegged-it (died). S
Well the authours had stated that one could have access to the data for a reasonable request. DrLove make one or two and eventually an excel sheet was produced and she gave it me blinded (So I didn’t know what is what) to have a look at. But now I can say that our initial thoughts did not seem to correct as most of the beasts made it to the end of the experiment, so they didn’t snuff it (die). If the data was deposited at the time of submission that could have been reported with the initial report.
However, I also have to say that with the actual data, if I compare the disease occurence, the maximum severity of disease and time of onset disease then there are actully no statisitically significant effects of either the standard or high dose of vitamin D. The apparent reduction in severity is largely mediated by one animal that really didn’t get EAE, it had mild signs for a day. remove this from the analysis and it makes the reduction even smaller (graph on right)
So if we equated this to how it would transpire in humans , as a relapse or not, then there would be no effect of vitamin D. I bet profG would beg to differ.
The apparent worsening is due to some of the animals remaining paralysed rather than recovering. Will that prevent some of you from taking mega doses of vitamin D? That would probably be a good thing as there is no evidence that mega doses are needed. But there are plenty of people who have taken mega doses and did it make MS worse..I think we know the answer. Enough said