Lack of vitamin D may cause multiple sclerosis, study finds

Although slightly off-topic, vitamin D is such an important issue here, as are other autoimmune disorders, that it seems worth posting.

Please visit the link - the article is quite long and worth reading.

Lack of vitamin D may cause multiple sclerosis, study finds

Researchers say findings may have important public health implications as vitamin supplements are relatively safe and cost-effective

Lack of vitamin D may be a direct cause of multiple sclerosis (MS), a study has found. The discovery may have important public health implications since so many people have insufficient levels of the essential vitamin, researchers say.

The findings may help explain why rates of MS, a potentially disabling auto-immune disease that damages nerve fibres, are higher in high-latitude regions such as northern Europe, which have fewer sunny days. Sunshine triggering a chemical reaction in the skin is the primary source of vitamin D.

Previous studies have suggested an association between lower vitamin D levels and a higher risk of MS. But now scientists have demonstrated a genetic correlation that points strongly to a causal link.

theguardian.com/society/201...

Edit to add link to paper:

journals.plos.org/plosmedic...

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  • My son works in this direction abd since he started, he's been taking quite high doses of vit D. Ages and ages ago, I remember reading that children who grow up in a sunny country for about ten years are protected from ever getting MS. So this shows the importance of this vitamin. One would expect not to find anyone suffering from this disease in hot countries. I wonder if this is so.

  • There are many cases of low vitamin D in countries such as Saudi Arabia - seemingly due to the fairly extreme covering up that is the cultural norm.

    But the genetic component may explain the lack of MS cases in hot countries?

  • The men don't cover themselves as women do. Maybe they get vit D also from the food they eat. Once, I came back from a long stay in a hot and sunny country to find out that my vit D was very low. Couldn't quite understand why. I thought that maybe I got so tanned that my skin stopped producing this vitamin.

  • I have an interest because my daughter has MS and I've racked my brains over the years to think what may have been the underlying cause.

    Vitamin D is involved and all her life, when the sun was shining she was out in it. She always played outside and has been a sun worshipper all her life. So, first the gene SNPs and how they come to reduce Vit D production in adequate sun exposure, and also the risk of the baby not getting enough Vit D when breast fed by a mother with low Vitamin D.

    Although I have always been a sun worshipper, my daughter was born in April and solely breast fed for a year. It's possible that those with the gene SNPs need more than normal Vit D exposure during the early years.

    And, although the connection may be harder to establish, I suspect these gene alleles may be involved in other autoimmune diseases.

    I'm studying nutrition at the moment and considering which aspect of autoimmunity to research.

  • I hope your daughter is doing ok? Do you know if her blood type is B? It seems that there is a disproportionate number of people with these types of auto-immune diseases that are blood type B. Best wishes to you and your daughter.

  • Hi Sherry

    Thanks for the good wishes, she's doing well on gluten-free and lots of sunshine.

    No, we're all Os. And my son has Hashi.

  • What should the daily dose be?

  • Requirements vary considerably. You can't simply quote a universal dose.

    Have a look here:

    vitamindcouncil.org/

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