A New Genetic Study Associates Low Vitamin D and Risk for Multiple Sclerosis by Susan Fitzgerald as originally seen in Neurology Today.
The article discusses one of several new research articles that are looking into a link between vitamin D deficiency and multiple sclerosis (MS). The research has found that some people with certain genes that are related to vitamin D synthesis are more likely to develop multiple sclerosis.
The farther north (or south, for those of you in the southern hemisphere) you go, the more cases of MS crop up. This has to do with how vitamin D is synthesized. Vitamin D, a necessary nutrient, is made in the body by absorbing sun rays. We do eat some vitamin D in our leafy greens, but we get most of it from the sun. The natural curvature of the Earth lends itself to there being less direct sunlight hitting points near the poles. So that says to me there are fewer sun rays to make vitamin D from there. The study above is saying that if you combine fewer sun rays with a possible genetic difficulty synthesizing vitamin D, you get MS.
So the next question to be answered is: will vitamin D supplementation prevent or mitigate the effects of MS? According to the article, there are some researchers already on that! They’re in the process of putting together a 2 year long study that will have people with MS taking vitamin D supplements at 2 different doses to see if either dose will slow or reduce the nerve plaques that MS causes.
Exciting stuff! Keep your ear to the ground to see where this goes!