A Swedish study reports that people with high vitamin D blood levels have a decreased risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS).
The present study adds to a plethora of research suggesting a link between vitamin D status and MS.
Dr Jonatan Salzer and colleagues were interested in whether there was a link between the development of MS and vitamin D levels in women, as well as between vitamin D status of pregnant women and children who later develop MS.
The researchers examined blood samples collected since 1975 from 164,000 people living in northern Sweden. A majority of the samples came from pregnant women. Blood samples of people who developed MS were matched with at least two healthy control samples collected on the same date.
Dr Salzer found that people with the highest blood levels of vitamin D (≥30 ng/ml) were 61% less likely to develop MS than people with lower vitamin D levels.
The researchers did not find a protective effect for children of mothers with higher vitamin D levels during pregnancy.
“Since we found no protective effect on the baby for women with higher levels of vitamin D in early pregnancy, our study suggests the protective effect may start later in pregnancy and beyond,” Dr Salzer explains.
The research will be published next week in the journal Neurology.