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Vitamin D Deficit May Trigger MS Risk Gene

By on Jan 28, 2018 in 21st Century Nutrition, CHILDREN, PREGNANCY | 0 comments

Written By: Robert Preidt

THURSDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) — A direct interaction between vitamin D and a common genetic variant may affect a person’s risk of multiple sclerosis, according to British and Canadian researchers who also said that vitamin D deficiency while in the womb and early in life may increase the risk of MS later in life.

In the general population, about one in 1,000 people will develop MS. But that increases to about one in 300 among people who have a single copy of the DRB1*1501 and about one in 100 among people with two copies of the variant.

The study found that proteins activated by vitamin D in the body bind to a particular DNA sequence lying next to the DRB1*1501 variant, which causes the gene to switch on.

“Our study implies that taking vitamin D supplements during pregnancy and the early years may reduce the risk of child developing MS in later life,” lead author Dr. Sreeram Ramagopalan said in the news release. “Vitamin D is a safe and relatively cheap supplement with substantial potential health benefits. There is accumulating evidence that it can reduce the risk of developing cancer and offer protection from other autoimmune diseases.”

Source: MSN

Dr. Wegmann’s Thoughts:

 Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in very few foods, added to others, and available as a dietary supplement. It is also produced endogenously when ultraviolet rays from sunlight strike the skin and trigger vitamin D synthesis. Vitamin D is essential for promoting calcium absorption in the gut and maintaining adequate serum calcium and phosphate concentrations to enable normal mineralization of bone and prevent osteoprosis. It is also needed for bone growth and bone remodeling by osteoblasts and osteoclasts. Without sufficient vitamin D, bones can become thin, or brittle Vitamin D sufficiency prevents rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. Together with calcium, vitamin D also helps protect older adults from osteoporosis. Vitamin D has other roles in human health, including modulation of neuromuscular and immune function and reduction of inflammation. A simple blood test can tell if your vitamin D levels are low. Supplementation is extremely important in norther states where sun exposure is limited in the winter. Vitamin D supplementation is vital in pregnant women.

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