A study published in the latest online issue of the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry has indicated that administration of Vitamin D supplements in pregnant women can help prevent Multiple Sclerosis in them.
The study was conducted by Dr. Jonathan Salzer from the Umea University Hospital, Sweden.
Study on Vitamin D in Pregnant Women
The research was conducted by analyzing 291,500 blood samples collected from 164,000 Swedish nationals since 1975. 192 among these had developed MS within a decade of the sample collection.
37 samples were from pregnant women whose children developed MS later. Statistical analysis of the data proved that those women with higher vitamin D levels in the blood were 61% less at risk of developing MS than those with low levels.
Among the 192 people with MS, only 4% of them (7 people) were found to have high concentrators of Vitamin D in their blood. Among those without MS, 8% had high vitamin D levels. And another finding that is of relevance today is that since 1975, the average vitamin D levels among individuals is on the decline and the researchers feel that this could be attributed to the increasing MS cases worldwide.
Vitamin D and Multiple Sclerosis
Vitamin D is produced in our body when it is exposed to sunlight. Between the winter months of October to March, exposure to sunlight, especially in cold countries is very limited. This leads to lower vitamin D production in the body and in turn higher risk of multiple sclerosis. In pregnant women this is found to be causing MS not only in the mother but even the child in later years. Statistical data has revealed that in western countries, babies born during April stand a higher risk of multiple sclerosis than those born in October or November.
The research therefore concluded that lack of appropriate levels of vitamin D is an important factor in development of multiple sclerosis among pregnant women and their newborns.