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Study Looking at High-Dose Biotin as a Treatment for Multiple Sclerosis

May 16, 2017

A study made by scientists in France might have discovered a new treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS). This new discovery treatment is biotin, one of the B-complex vitamins. It’s also known as vitamin H. However, the exact role biotin plays in the progression of MS is not known, but initial studies show it both benefits myelin and provides energy for neurons.

MedDay Pharmaceuticals ran the study. When testing out biotin, the initial trial had only 23 participants, but it showed significant results. The second study was larger with 154 participants. The results demonstrated that biotin helped improve and stop disability in people with progressive and relapsing MS. The researchers are starting a phase III trials of the drug to test its effectiveness as a treatment for progressive MS. It will involve 600 patients from 65 study centers in the United States and Europe. The USC Keck School of Medicine is one of the study centers.

“Biotin is different than other agents Margaret Burnett, associate professor of neurology at the USC Keck School of Medicine explained. “While other approaches have been designed to work with the immune system, MD1003 is designed to preserve and support the nervous system by protecting its oligodendrocytes and neurons.”

Biotin is available over the counter, but the dose is much smaller than what is being tested – about 10,000 micrograms compared to 300 milligrams. High-dose biotin is considered relatively safe with no downsides, but it can affect blood test results for a few conditions, such as thyroid disease. It should be stopped prior to blood work. Biotin is also available naturally through a healthy diet, such as eggs, dairy, almonds, whole grains, and meat. There have not been any tests performed on biotin from food having any effect on MS. However, Burnett notes that while there is no one diet recommended for everyone with MS, she “encourages all patients to eat a well-rounded diet.”

Via Healthline