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Could correcting a vitamin D deficiency reduce the risk of multiple sclerosis?

14 Septembre 2017

People normally get diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 40, but it is hard to identify the crippling condition until symptoms become apparent.

U.S. researchers at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health in Boston examined blood samples from more than 3,200 women, who are two to three times more likely to be diagnosed with MS than men.

The new research however used blood sample from more than 800,000 Finnish women to see if correcting a vitamin D deficiency in young and middle-age could reduce the future risk of MS. It is known as the sunshine vitamin as it is produced in your skin in response to sunlight and some foods that are a rich source of vitamin D. However, reducing levels of vitamin D in the body may actually pose various health problems including Multiple Sclerosis. Out of these, 1,092 women were diagnosed with MS and were compared to 2,123 women who did not develop the disease.

A deficient vitamin D level was defined as less than 30 nmol/L; an insufficient level as 30 to 49 nmol/L and an adequate level as 50 nmol/L or higher. The study also showed that with each 50 nmol/L increase in blood vitamin D level, there was a 39% reduction in the likelihood of MS developing in the future.

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Women who had deficient levels of vitamin D had a 43 percent higher risk of developing MS than women who had adequate levels as well as a 27 percent higher risk than women with insufficient levels.

Of those who had developed the disease, 58% were vitamin D deficient, compared with 52% of those who did not develop it.

According to a previous research, the connection between vitamin D and MS could be tied to the positive effects vitamin D has on the immune system. "But striving to achieve vitamin D sufficiency over the course of a person's life will likely have multiple health benefits".

Could correcting a vitamin D deficiency reduce the risk of multiple sclerosis?