Based on the findings of a new study published in the journal of PLoS Medicine, low vitamin D levels could cause multiple sclerosis. Scientists had to conduct a thorough analysis of the data that has been collected previously in order to determine whether this hypothesis was possible or not.
Data from 34,000 people has been carefully observed to signal possible genetic markers indicating low levels of vitamin D. Researchers have identified four types of genetic markers that could have been linked to vitamin D deficiency.
These newly identified items have been compared with the information in the medical reports of 14,500 individuals suffering from multiple sclerosis. They were particularly interested in seeing whether there is a link between the four genetic variants and their multiple sclerosis diagnosis.
Based on the observations they have made, researchers have concluded that those markers indicating lower vitamin D levels were much more frequent in people with multiple sclerosis. Other factors that could cause multiple sclerosis have not been entirely excluded, but scientists think the presence of genetic markers in multiple sclerosis analyses is no coincidence.
Vitamin D levels often mirror patients’ lifestyles. Deficiencies are more frequent in individuals who spend most of their time indoors, but scientists claim this theory has been dismantled by their new findings. The presence of genetic markers showcasing low levels of vitamin D proves that some individuals simply do not assimilate vitamin D the way they are supposed to, regardless whether they stay indoors or outdoors.
The following step that researchers want to make is to test whether vitamin D can improve the condition of patients with multiple sclerosis. Similar attempts are currently carried out by science investigators in Australia and New Zealand, but comprehensive experiments are required before the new treatment is applied on human respondents.
In theory, vitamin D supplements could slow down the development of multiple sclerosis due to the effects they have on the immune system. According to Dr. Lisa Melton, the manager of Australia’s Research Development, the immune system needs to be calmed down in order to prevent multiple sclerosis relapses. Vitamin D is the only one that can do that, but scientists’ theories remain mere hunches, in absence of real evidence that could prove them.
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