Vitamin D deficiency may lead to multiple sclerosis – University Herald

Aug 30, 2015 09:52 AM EDT

Vitamin D
(Photo : Harvard) Reduced vitamin D levels may be associated with an increased risk of multiple sclerosis, according to a new research article.



A new study has suggested that people with a genetic deficiency of vitamin-D are at a higher risk of developing multiple sclerosis, Rapid News Network reports.

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Scientists have long suspected a link between low vitamin D levels and multiple sclerosis. Earlier research has indicated that multiple sclerosis is more common in areas that are exposed to less sunlight. However, scientists suspect that there may be other environmental factors that may be the cause of multiple sclerosis. .

Deficiency of vitamin D is not exclusively caused by lack of sunshine or supplements. It is also caused by genetic predisposition. In certain cases, when people are genetically predisposed to low levels of vitamin D, their bodies do not assimilate vitamin D normally, regardless of their exposure to sunlight or not.

According to Mirror Daily, the scientists at McGill University studied 34,000 participants, looking into genetic markers that made them prone to vitamin D deficiency.  Another 14,500 participants were diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and 24,000 were termed as the control group in order to rule out any environmental factors. The results showed that those who had at least one or more of the genetic variants were much more susceptible to multiple sclerosis.

According to Dr. Brent Richards, co-author of the study, there is also the possibility of this link to be of ‘reverse causation’. People with multiple sclerosis may stay indoors due to their conditions, which results in less sunlight intake, so their vitamin D levels are lower.

The conclusion of the study was that there are four genetic markers that make patients susceptible to vitamin D deficiency, which is also found in those suffering from multiple sclerosis.

 

 

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