• Sunshine Vitamin D May Help Fight Multiple Sclerosis

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    Vitamin D may slow the progression of multiple sclerosis and also reduce harmful brain activity. Multiple sclerosis is a condition where the body’s immune system attacks the nerves in the brain and spinal cord. Because these nerves provide messages to so many different areas of the body, the symptoms of multiple sclerosis can involve many systems of the body. You may experience problems walking, talking, speaking, swallowing, or difficulty thinking. It’s not known exactly what causes multiple sclerosis, but researchers think that vitamin D may play a role. Some studies show that vitamin D helps to control your immune system, but how this may play a role in multiple sclerosis is not fully understood.

    In mice with a rodent form of multiple sclerosis (MS), vitamin D appears to block damage-causing immune cells from migrating to the central nervous system, offering a potential explanation for why the so-called “sunshine vitamin” may prevent or ease symptoms of the neurodegenerative disease, according to results of a study at Johns Hopkins.

    A report on the findings, published online Dec. 9 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, offers new insight into the widely suspected benefits of vitamin D in people with MS. The quest to understand the role of the nutrient began with the observation that the disease is more prevalent in regions of the world farthest from the equator where there is less sunshine, the main natural source of vitamin D.

    While a clinical trial testing vitamin D supplements in multiple sclerosis patients is underway at Johns Hopkins and elsewhere, most of the evidence of its efficacy …

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    Staff Writer

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