A new study found further evidence of the association between a higher risk of developing Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and a Vitamin D deficiency. A 43% higher risk of developing MS was seen in women with Vitamin D deficiencies compared to those women with adequate levels of Vitamin D. Additionally a 27% increase in the risk of developing MS was seen in women with a Vitamin D insufficiency. A deficiency of Vitamin D was defined as having serum Vitamin D levels of less than 30 nanomoles/litre (nmol/l). A Vitamin D insufficiency was defined as having a serum Vitamin D level of between 30 to 49 nmol/l.
The findings of this prospective case-control study are in conformity with past observational research. However without evidence from randomized controlled trials, public health experts are not willing to adopt a policy of recommending Vitamin D supplementation for MS risk reductions. It may be difficult to design a randomized controlled trial because the timing of the Vitamin D supplementation is unclear. Additionally the idea of giving a placebo to an individual with a Vitamin D deficiency raises ethical questions.
Researchers believe maintaining Vitamin D status over the long-term is the key to seeing the benefits of Vitamin D. Striving to maintain a healthy Vitamin D level over the course of one’s life is going to provide the maximum health benefits. Given the low cost of Vitamin D supplementation, researchers stress there is not much to lose from suggesting Vitamin D supplementation be adopted.
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