Vitamin D and Multiple Sclerosis

Vitamin D has been known as an essential nutrient for the body. It is known to regulate calcium and phosphorus levels in the body and aiding in their proper absorption in the intestines. Vitamin D is also known to help boost the immune system. And recently, some studies have shown that Vitamin D may also help in reducing the risk of multiple sclerosis.

The study involved seven million members of the US military. These large numbers of military personnel were examined and from which about 260 developed multiple sclerosis. Those who developed MS were then selected and had their blood examined and analyzed. They were then compared to a similar group of people who did not develop MS. The study aimed to find out the differences between the two groups which might help explain how the disease develops in those who were affected.

During the study, the researchers were able to discover that the risk of developing multiple sclerosis went down as the levels of Vitamin D intake rose. The studies showed that those who had the highest amounts of Vitamin D in their bloodstream had their risk of developing multiple scleroses go down by as much as 60 percent.

The effect of vitamin D on reducing MS risk seems only to affect Caucasians. There seem to be no significant change seen between vitamin D intake and MS risk among the minorities. Not only that, the protective effect of vitamin D seem to be more effective in people who are under 20 years of age.

According to Alberto Ascherio, lead researcher and associate professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health, "This converges with a body of experimental evidence and other studies that strongly suggest that vitamin D could be truly protective".

But the researcher also said that further studies are needed in order to fully understand the effects of vitamin D on multiple sclerosis. The answer may not yet be clear for researchers how vitamin D works to reduce risk of multiple sclerosis in some people. They believe that it may have something to do with the vitamin’s function in regulating the immune system or at least the vitamin’s role in calcium absorption.



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