Multiple sclerosis is a central nervous system disease characterized by a neuronal loss that commonly leads to physical disability. In 2020, a whopping 2.8 million people were diagnosed with MS (35.9 per 100,000 individuals) worldwide, and the numbers keep rising.
Besides motor function and life expectancy, multiple sclerosis may also affect cognitive and mental health, often leading to depression.
Luckily, there might be a solution for this out there, and it’s more simple and available than anyone would’ve thought — vitamin D.
A systematic review of scientific literature published in Nutrients in late 2021 showed that vitamin D supplementation lasting 4–12 weeks generally positively affects the quality of life, mental health, depression, and depressive symptoms of MS patients.
A Polish team of scientists screened a large number of publications in scientific databases to assess the role of vitamin D on the mental health of MS patients.
The results varied, as some studies recorded a significant decrease in depression and anxiety scores upon supplementation, while others found no significant improvement.
Still, the overall impression was that vitamin D supplementation may positively influence multiple sclerosis patients’ mental health and improve depression symptoms over time.
However, though these findings are encouraging, more studies are needed to confirm the potential and significance of vitamin D supplementation in treating depression-related symptoms in MS patients.