Effect of Vitamin D supplements on relapse rate and Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) in multiple sclerosis (MS): A systematic review and meta-analysis

Sara Hanaei, Mohammad Ali Sahraian, Mehdi Mohammadifar, Sreeram V Ramagopalan, Mahsa Ghajarzadeh


Background: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory disease while there are controversies regarding the role of vitamin D supplements in controlling relapse and disability improvement during treatment. Objective: The goal of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to evaluate the effect of vitamin D supplements on MS-related relapse and the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS). Methods: We searched databases to include randomized clinical trials (RCTs) which were published up to October 2018. We included RCTs, being single-blinded or double-blinded or open-label trials in which one of the main outcomes was EDSS and/or relapse after vitamin D supplementation. All statistical analyses were performed using RevMan 5.3. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated for relapse between treatment arms. The mean difference was calculated for EDSS comparisons. Results: Nine articles were included for analysis. Of these nine studies, five compared vitamin D supplement groups with placebo (group 1 studies), and four compared high- and low-dose vitamin D groups. A total of 561 patients were analyzed. Being treated with vitamin D instead of placebo showed no effect on relapse rate (OR = 0.66, 95% CI = 0.28–1.54) as well as EDSS (mean difference = 0.06, 95%CI [-0.31, 0.42]). The results of studies comparing high- vs. low-dose vitamin D interventions showed no significant effect on relapse rate (OR = 1.08, 95%CI [0.29–4.08] as well as final EDSS (mean difference = 0.17, 95% CI = -0.73, 1.07). Conclusions: Our findings show that vitamin D supplements (high or low dose) have no significant effect on relapse rate and disability during treatment in MS patients.


Disability; multiple sclerosis; relapse; systematic review; vitamin D

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