Multiple Sclerosis and lower levels of vitamin D are strongly linked, new study shows
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a very serious permanent nervous system disease that has unknown causes. Certain genetic and environmental factors could trigger MS development and also influence its severity.
Researchers from Canada point to a low vitamin D level as a risk factor for MS development. Also, previous studies on the matter have suggested that low levels of vitamin D from high altitude climates, where people benefit from less sun exposure, seems to influence MS incidence.
Dr. Brent Richards, from McGill University in Canada, notes: “Other investigations that examine disease patterns in populations suggest an association between lower vitamin D level and an increased risk of MS but cannot prove that a decreased vitamin D level actually causes MS.”
Dr. Richards team researched the association between genetically lower vitamin D levels and MS.
2.347 patients participated in the International Multiple Sclerosis Genetics Consortium study. After measuring vitamin D levels, the researchers declared: “These findings show that, among the participants, all of whom were of European ancestry, genetically lowered vitamin D levels were strongly associated with increased susceptibility to MS.”
“Ongoing randomized controlled trials are currently assessing vitamin D supplementation for the treatment and prevention of multiple sclerosis […] and may therefore provide needed insights into the role of vitamin D supplementation,” Dr. Richards adds.
As a treatment for MS doesn’t yet exists and the medication used to alleviate the symptoms is often very risky for the patient, the authors will further study vitamin D and MS link, hoping to find a therapeutic solution for this debilitating disease.