Multiple Sclerosis can be defined as an enduring disease which affects the brain, spinal cord and the optic nerves.
It is a continuous, immune-mediated disorder which means that the system supposed to keep our body healthy wrongfully attacks parts of our body that are vital in our daily activities.
The effects of this disease differ from one person to another, some might have mild symptoms and others might have trouble doing daily tasks. This disease can cause paralysis, vision loss, and a decrease in brain function.
A recent study published on September 2017 in the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology suggests that checking the levels of vitamin D in the blood can help predict if a person is at risk to develop Multiple Sclerosis (MS). According to Kassandra Munger a researcher at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston and Author of this study, only a few kinds of research have been conducted in order to verify whether the vitamin D in the blood can predict the risk of MS. So to fill up this gap she focused her study on a large number of women and the results showed that rectifying vitamin D deficiency in the blood of young and middle age woman helped reduce their future risk of contracting Multiple Sclerosis.
At first, they collected the blood samples of more than 800,000 women in Finland and the blood samples were mainly used for prenatal tests. The researchers found that about 1092 women suffered from Multiple Sclerosis within a range of nine years after the blood samples were collected. The sample was compared to 2123 other women who didn’t contract the disease. After further analysis, the scientists also found that from the women who developed Multiple Sclerosis, 58% had deficient levels of vitamin D in the blood, in comparison to 52% of women who didn’t show any signs of Multiple Sclerosis. The deficient level of Vitamin D been perceived as fewer than 30 Nanomole per liter (nmol/L), while insufficient levels were around 30 to 49 nmol/L and normal levels were around 50 nmol/L or higher. The study then concluded that each 50 nmol/L increase in vitamin D in the blood reduced the risk of developing Multiple Sclerosis by 39%. Furthermore, women with deficient levels of Vitamin D in the blood had 43% risk of developing Multiple Sclerosis while women with adequate levels had only 27% risk of developing this disease.
Kassandra Munger also acknowledged that more research was needed in order to determine the optimal level of Vitamin D for eliminating the risk of Multiple Sclerosis keeping in mind that a sufficient or adequate level of Vitamin D in the blood throughout a person’s life can produce tremendous benefits. The limitations of this study suggested that the participants were all white women so therefore the findings cannot be generalised to other racial groups or men. Also since the blood samples were collected around nine years before the disease was diagnosed, there are possibilities that the patients were already suffering from Multiple Sclerosis at the time of collection of the blood samples.
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H/T: Medical Xpress