Vitamin D and its relationship to Multiple Sclerosis

Scientists increasingly find evidence that a sun vitamin deficiency could determine the course of the disease.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease that does not have many certainties. But one of the few things that can be established is its relationship with low levels of vitamin D, since it is known that it affects mainly people from countries far from Ecuador, that is, those that do not receive so directly the Sun rays. For this reason, scientists have focused their efforts to understand this pathology and how to control the vitamin D deficit to prevent the progression of MS.

A neurologist at the University Clinic, explains that “more than a vitamin, D is almost like a hormone, because it becomes a factor that generates immunomodulation.” This occurs mainly when the skin is exposed to the rays of the sun, but can also be consumed through supplements. Therefore, one of the hypotheses of the researchers is that increasing the intake of vitamin D could favor the course of the disease.

Additionally, more and more research shows how an environmental factor can influence the behavior of a gene. Lack of vitamin D in early childhood may increase the risk of MS and another surprising finding is that people who have migrated are at risk for the disease in the country they move to. “In multiple sclerosis, the relationship is punctually due to its deficit and is related to a higher prevalence and deterioration. However, it has not been seen whether supplementing it improves the diagnosis, ”

Still, scientists insist that the key to understanding the disease is in vitamin D. That’s why multiple attempts have been made to determine whether vitamin supplementation can be a key determinant of multiple sclerosis. In that way, they have used different doses, different methods of consumption and the truth is that there are no clear lines that indicate how much vitamin is needed, nor the evidence of the studies that is still is enough.

Multiple sclerosis is not the only pathology related to vitamin D deficiency. It has been associated with diseases such as osteoporosis, rickets in children, depression, some autoimmune conditions, dementias, and cerebrovascular disease. The bad news is that most people do not get enough vitamin D. The deficiency has no symptoms, so it could only be detected by a blood test.

The proper food intake, such as for example cereals, soy products, dairy products fortified with vitamin D and cod liver oil can help keep at bay vitamin deficiency. On the other hand, “sunbathing on a regular basis at times where UV radiation is not so hard is the best way to get it,” explains Navas . “One trick that can be used is that in the weather app of the cell phone, locate the UV index and try to use that indicator to sunbathe. The best hours are between 6 and 8 am and 4 to 5 pm Without blocker and with the skin uncovered, only the face is covered to protect it ” , completes the expert.

Multiple sclerosis is the second most common cause of disability in young adults. Some of its symptoms are cognitive impairment, loss of sensation in extremities, depression, fatigue, among others. This disease causes great social, economic and labor impact as it occurs in individuals between 20 and 40 years old, age range in which people are more productive. In Colombia, there are approximately 2500 patients with this condition.