A certain genetic variant combined with a vitamin D deficiency when young may increase a person's chances of developing multiple sclerosis later in life. The finding suggests that giving vitamin D supplements to pregnant women and young children could reduce the risk of getting the disease, they reported in the journal PLoS Genetics. It also bolsters previous evidence implicating the so-called "sunshine" vitamin in the autoimmune disease, which affects 2.5 million people worldwide.
This means for people who carry a gene variant, vitamin D deficiency during early life might impair the body's ability to delete T-cells which go on to attack the body and lead to a loss of myelin on the nerve fibers. "In people with the DRB1 variant associated with multiple sclerosis, it seems that vitamin D may play a critical role," Julian Knight, a University of Oxford researcher, who worked on the study. "If too little of the vitamin is available, the gene may not function properly."
Bonnie - I have been recommending Cod Liver Oil as well as complete, vitamin D-rich prenatals for pregnant women and young children for a long time. I have also administered Cod Liver Oil to my MS patients for years with success. Given the vitamin D epidemic in this country, how ridiculous does the recent study about "healthy kids taking vitamins not necessary" sound? Healthy as well as unhealthy kids need D (and other key micronutrients) from a preventative and supplemental standpoint because there is no way they are getting enough D in their daily diet in addition to the dearth of sunshine exposure.