Swedish researchers claim they have identified a connection between vitamin D bloods levels and the possibility of developing the autoimmune disease multiple sclerosis.
The scientists reviewed blood samples from 164,000 residents of northern Sweden residents since 1975, most of whom were pregnant. It turned out 192 women (and 37 children) subsequently developed MS, although only after the blood was collected.
According to lead researcher Dr. Jonatan Salzer, “adults who had high blood levels of vitamin D were 61% less likely to develop MS than people with lower vitamin D levels. However, the study found no link between vitamin D levels in mothers whose children later developed MS,” The Wall Street Journal reported.
The study was published today in the Neurology journal.
The WSJ explains that the possible link between vitamin D (the “sunshine vitamin”) and MS is getting more attention:
“No research to date has shown a definitive link between vitamin D and the development or progression of MS because it is possible people with MS simply have low vitamin D levels. But there are separate, ongoing studies looking at giving vitamin D supplements to people with MS to see if they can reduce the incidence of disease flare-ups.”
Vitamin D proponents maintain that the substance — through sun exposure and/or by taking supplements in the winter — can provide a wide array of health benefits and that low levels have been linked to many chronic wellness issues.
In another new study, researchers claim that “they have found evidence that Vitamin D supplements for pregnant women in the world’s colder, darker countries may stave off multiple sclerosis (MS) in their offspring,” according to an AFP report.
About 300,00 Americans have been diagnosed with MS.