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Sunlight may reduce the risk of Multiple Sclerosis

sunlightmultiplesclerosis.jpgGood news!

Recent studies show that sunlight exposure may actually reduce the risk of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). MS is a nervous system disease that affects the brain and the spinal cord. It damages the myelin sheath, the material that surrounds and protects your nerve cells. This damage slows down or blocks the messages between the brain and the body, leading to the symptoms of MS. Although it has been though to occur mainly among adults, more and more adolescents and children are being diagnosed with MS.

There is no cure for MS. However, recent studies show evidence that MS can be prevented by exposure to sunlight. Vitamin D deficiency which is caused by lack of exposure to sunlight has been suggested as a probable cause of MS. This is most likely the reason why MS is rare in tropical countries. Animal studies also showed that an injection of Vitamin D3 can prevent MS in animals but is accelerated in animals deficient in Vitamin D. The researchers concluded that vitamin D supplementation, at levels higher than are currently recommended by the Institute of Medicine, may help to reduce the risk of MS.

Some famous people who have MS are Richard Pryor (actor), Dan Carnevale (footballer), Teri Garr (actress), Judy Graham (author), Marianne Gingrich (ex-wife of Newt Gingrich), and Alan Osmond (of the Osmond brothers).

Sources:

Semininars in Neurology 2008;69-83

Seminars in Neurology 2008; 28: 17-28Mult-sclerosis.org


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