Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Concentration and Cognitive Impairment. Llewellyn et al., J Geriatr Psychiatry Neurol. 2009 Feb 4. [Epub ahead of print]
VITAMIN D MAY REDUCE RISK OF MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS
It has long been suspected that an environmental risk factor for the development of MS may be sunshine and vitamin D due to the unusual geographical distribution of this disease - it is much more prevalent the greater the distance from the equator. There are also genetic factors at play.
New research has found that vitamin D interacts with a MS-susceptibility gene that is associated with a three-fold increased risk of developing MS, thereby linking an environmental and genetic factor.
"Our data support the case for supplementation [of vitamin D] during critical time periods [pregnancy/infancy] to reduce the prevalence of this devastating disease," wrote lead author Sreeram Ramagopalan from the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics at the University of Oxford.
Our comment: As mentioned above, testing for and supplementing vitamin D is simple and inexpensive. It is strongly recommended for pregnant and breatfeeding women, those with a familial risk of MS and anyone who has little exposure to bright sunshine.