There’s some evidence that the incidence of M.S., is increasing in sunny regions including the South and West, possibly because people are avoiding the sun or using sunscreen to protect against skin cancer.
An abundance of vitamin-D seems to help prevent this disease, according to a study in more than 7 million people that offers some of the strongest evidence yet of the power of the “sunshine vitamin” against M.S.
The research found that white members of the U.S. military with the highest blood levels of vitamin-D were 62 percent less likely to develop multiple-sclerosis than people with low levels.
There was no such connection in blacks or Hispanics, possibly because there were so few in the group studied.
Also, the body makes vitamin-D3 from sunlight, and the pigmented skin of blacks and other dark-skinned ethnic groups doesn’t absorb sunlight as easily as pale skin.
The new research echoes findings in smaller studies that examined why the nerve-damaging disease historically has been more common in people who live in regions farther from the equator where there is less intense year-round sunlight.
This is the first large prospective study where blood levels are measured in young adults and compared to their future risk.
If confirmed, this finding suggests that many cases of MS could be prevented by increasing vitamin-D levels.
Still, the findings don’t prove that a lack of vitamin-D can cause Multiple-Sclerosis, so it’s too preliminary to recommend that people take vitamin-D pills to avoid the disease.
Sources of vitamin-D
Vitamin-D also is found in fortified milk and oily fish, but it’s hard to get enough just from diet.
Sunlight is the biggest source of vitamin-D, which is needed for strong bones.
Other studies have linked high levels of vitamin-D in the blood to lower risks of a variety of cancers.
The researchers worked with the Army and Navy in analyzing blood samples of military personnel stored by the Department of Defense.
Military databases showed that 257 service men and women were diagnosed with M.S. between 1992 and 2004.
The increased M.S. risk was especially strong in people who were younger than 20 when they entered the study.
The researchers said that finding suggests that vitamin-D exposure before adulthood could be particularly important.
Using blood samples to measure vitamin-D levels “tends to nail it down in a much more reliable way” than studies that have relied on people’s memories of vitamin-D exposure.
M.S., is among the most common nerve disorders affecting young adults, mostly women.
About 350,000 people in the United States and 2 million worldwide have Multiple-Sclerosis, a chronic autoimmune disease in which the body attacks the fatty insulation that surrounds nerve fibers.
Avoiding the Sun
There’s some evidence that its incidence is increasing in sunny regions including the South and West, possibly because people are avoiding the sun or using sunscreen to protect against skin cancer.
Some doctors think those practices also have contributed to vitamin-D deficiencies in adolescents and young adults.
There’s no question that vitamin-D deficiency is an epidemic in the United States.
The M.S., study is just one more reason to pay attention to vitamin-D.
Multiple-Sclerosis symptoms vary but can be disabling and can include tingling pain in the arms and legs, fatigue and vision problems.
Doctors believe multiple-sclerosis is genetic and perhaps triggered in susceptible people by environmental causes, including possibly some viruses.
Vitamin-D deficiency could be another trigger.
It’s unclear how a lack of vitamin-D might contribute, but...
...in mouse experiments, the vitamin stimulated production of chemicals that fight an MS-like disease.
Other Points to Consider
Get plenty of animal-based omega-3 fats, such as krill oil.
You also need to avoid damaged, processed fats found in most all processed foods.
Especially damaging are the omega-6 fats found in soy, canola, and corn oil.
These are usually highly oxidized and also contain trans fats and cyclic fats that imbed themselves into your cell membranes, distorting the cellular functions.
The majority of these three oils are also genetically engineered, which can have its own set of health ramifications.
Eliminate sugar, particularly fructose.
Another crucial element in the battle against multiple-sclerosis is to eliminate as much sugar and fructose as possible from your diet.
Cutting out processed foods and sweetened beverages will go a long way to reduce excess fructose, in addition to eliminating the majority of damaging fats in your diet.
You simply must keep your daily total fructose intake below 25 grams.
If you haven't yet grasped the toxic nature and profound health dangers of fructose, now's the time to wake up.
Sugar can contribute to the development of a number of autoimmune diseases, such as arthritis, asthma, and multiple-sclerosis.
It also increases uric acid levels, which leads to chronic, low-level inflammation, which has far-reaching consequences for your health.
Eliminate pasteurized milk and dairy.
This is another critical element.
Studies have shown that cow's milk consumption is correlated with M.S. prevalence (Neuroepidemiology 1992;11:304-12, and Neuroepidemiology 1993;12:15-27).
Avoid aspartame and commercial fruit juices.
Aspartame rapidly metabolizes to methanol, a potent neurotoxin.
Additionally fruits and vegetables are also loaded with methanol but when they're consumed fresh, the methanol is bound to pectin and your body does not have the enzymes to break it down.
However when fruits and vegetables are processed and put into glass jars or cans, the methanol dissociates and can be liberated in high quantities.
Eat plenty of raw food.
This is an important principle for optimal health that we'd normally recommend for everyone.
However, I've found that for people with severe autoimmune disease, it's even more important.
Some of the most dramatic improvements we've seen reported in patients using nutritional changes have come about as the result of eating a majority of their food raw instead of cooked.
Optimizing your gut bacteria may be one of the most profound ways to improve your health.Tweet
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