Vitamin D cuts MS risk in women

Women who take vitamin D through multivitamins are 40% less likely to develop multiple sclerosis (MS) than women who do not take supplements, according to a new study. The body gets vitamin D through exposure to sunlight, and from the diet.

“Because the number of cases of MS increases the farther you get from the equator, one hypothesis has been that sunlight exposure and high levels of vitamin D may reduce the risk of MS,” said study author Kassandra Munger, MSc, of Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. “These results need to be confirmed with additional research, but it’s exciting to think that something as simple as taking a multivitamin could reduce your risk of developing MS.”

The researchers examined data from two large studies involving women where diet and use of multivitamin supplements were assessed. They found that those with the highest intake of vitamin D from supplements (400 IU or more per day) were 40% less likely to develop MS than those who used no supplements.

Source: American Academy of Neurology, Jan 12, 2004