Vitamin D may be a safe, seizure-minimizing epilepsy treatment

Note that the title is the actual opinion of the study authors, and not my interpretation. The study lasted 12 weeks and used 5,000 IU vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) daily. Beneficial effects on seizures were visible after 6 weeks and were correlated with normalizing vitamin D levels in the seizure patients, all of whom had various levels of deficiency or even insufficiency for this “vitamin” (it is actually a steroid). And as the study said, unlike all other epilepsy treatments, the vitamin D intervention was without any side effects. Considering my other post about aromatase inhibitors being viable treatment for epilepsy, this suggests that vitamin D has anti-estrogenic effects, if not on aromatase then at least at the “receptor” level inside tissues. The thread on Calcirol has a study and some figures that demonstrate vitamin D’s ability to bind to and interact with virtually all steroid receptors including the estrogen ones. It seems to be an antagonist at the latter.

“…Vitamin D may help reduce the frequency of seizures in epilepsy patients, according to a recent study from UCLA. Researchers in the lab of Christopher DeGiorgio, a professor of neurology, found that epilepsy patients experienced moderately fewer seizure episodes after taking vitamin D pillsThe study serves as the first step toward assessing whether vitamin D supplements may be a valid treatment for reducing seizures in epilepsy patients, DeGiorgio said.

“…Current drugs used to treat epilepsy have negative side effects, like depression or osteoporosis, prompting the need to develop safer treatments, said Ashley Curtis, a third-year neuroscience student and co-author on the study. Previous animal studies have shown that vitamin D could reduce the duration and severity of seizures, DeGiorgio said. These results suggest vitamin D might play a role in alleviating the symptoms of epilepsy. However, many epilepsy patients are vitamin D deficient, he added.”

“…The first step in assessing whether vitamin D is a potential treatment for epilepsy is to determine the safety of high vitamin D doses, DeGiorgio said. Researchers administered an oral vitamin D supplement to nine epilepsy patients once per day for 12 weeks and monitored their health. After six weeks of vitamin D supplements, the vitamin D levels of most patients rose from insufficient to healthy levels. Common measures of health, like blood pressure, remained normal for all patients during the entire course of study, suggesting that vitamin D supplements had no obvious toxic effects. Seizure frequency decreased by about 27%, from a median of 5.2 to 3.6 seizures per month after the six-week treatment, according to the study.”

Author: haidut