Vitamin D’s benefits are well documented and numerous—here’s how you can tell if you’re not getting enough vitamin D. One of the most readily available daily sources of the key nutrient is found right outside, in natural sunlight. The sun itself isn’t doing the supplement slathering, but it does the catalyzing, allowing skin cells to take care of the vitamin generation itself. But for those who spend much of their day indoors or those who live in say, Nome, Alaska, taking a daily vitamin D supplement might be the best bet.
And according to a new study published in Neurology, maintaining high vitamin D levels may help reduce the risk of Multiple Sclerosis. The research found that for every 50 nanomolar per liter increase of vitamin D dosage in participants, their risk of developing the degenerative disease would decrease by 39 percent. (‘Molar/L’ is a parts per volume ratio measurement).
Additionally, participants with a vitamin D deficiency were found to have 43 percent higher chance of developing the disease as opposed to the average person.
“The body needs vitamin D to help absorb different nutrients, and is most commonly absorbed through natural sunlight,” said Geeta Sidhu-Robb, a nutritionist and founder of Nosh Detox, via Express.
The study tracked the health data of over 800,000 Finnish women over the span of nine years. It should be noted that although the sample size was extensive, it excluded women of color and men. Detecting vitamin D deficiency in patients could prove crucial as an early warning sign for doctors to look out for.
“More research is needed on the optimal dose of vitamin D for reducing [the] risk of MS,” Dr. Munger, the first author of the study, told Medical News Today. “But striving to achieve vitamin D sufficiency over the course of a person’s life will likely have multiple health benefits.”
A prior CDC study has noted geographical location as a major determining factor of MS, as proximity to the equator affects one’s potential for sun exposure, and in turn, Vitamin D. According to Healthline, there are more than 400,000 people with MS in the U.S., and another 200 cases are diagnosed each week. (Did you know that breastfeeding affects one’s likelihood to develop MS?)
The National Institutes of Health recommend a daily consumption of 600 international units of vitamin D every day from ages 1 to 70, and 800 IU from age 71 on. Stay up to date on your supplements and watch out for these 11 silent signs of MS if you want to lower your chances of developing this deadly disease.
[Source: Medical News Today]