Link between low levels of Vitamin D and risk of MS ever stronger

A new study has underlined the value of vitamin D in the fight against multiple sclerosis.

People with low levels of vitamin D are at greater risk than others of developing MS, a new study shows.

The study looked at stored blood samples of 800,000 pregnant Finnish women.

vitamin dVitamin levels of 1,092 women, who were later diagnosed with MS, were compared to those of 2,123 women around the same age and region who did not develop the disease. The women who went on to develop MS had lower average vitamin D levels than other women.

The study, titled “25-Hydroxyvitamin D deficiency and risk of MS among women in the Finnish Maternity Cohort”, was published last week in Neurology, the official journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

According to the USA’s National MS Society website:

Researchers believe that several genetic and environmental factors influence whether a person will get MS. These factors may also impact the severity of the disease.

Scientists are eager to find risk factors for MS that can be modified to possibly prevent MS and reduce disease activity. Research is increasingly pointing to reduced levels of vitamin D in the blood as a risk factor for developing MS. Studies are underway to determine if vitamin D levels influence MS disease activity.

Increased vitamin D equals lower risk of MS

The team found that overall as vitamin D levels increased, the risk of later developing MS decreased. Women with the greatest deficiency in vitamin D had a twofold increase in the risk of developing MS. And those with the highest vitamin D levels had the lowest risk of a later MS diagnosis.

Most of the women in the study were considered to have deficient or insufficient levels of vitamin D. Of the women who developed MS, 58 percent had deficient levels of vitamin D, compared to 52 percent of the women who did not develop the disease. The researchers conclude that the results directly support vitamin D deficiency as a risk factor for MS and that correcting this among reproductive age women may reduce their future risk of developing MS.

As we who have MS wait impatiently to find a cure, we welcome every new study with good news of one kind or another.

We must greet all such studies as successful steps along the journey to defeat this insidious disease.

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* * * * * is the personal website of Ian Franks, a Clinical Writer with Healthline, the fastest growing health information site. He enjoyed a successful career as a journalist, from reporter to editor in the print media. He gained a Journalist of the Year award in his native UK. Ian received a diagnosis of MS in 2002 and now lives in the south of Spain. He uses a wheelchair and advocates on mobility and accessibility issues.


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