printable article

Originally published December 29 2006

Harvard study finds high vitamin D intake may cut multiple sclerosis risk

by Ben Kage

(NaturalNews) Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston have found evidence that a higher level of vitamin D in the body significantly reduces the risk of developing multiple sclerosis in whites.

During the study -- published in the Journal of the American Medical Association -- the researchers pored through more than 7 million serum samples from U.S. military personnel, and found 257 had developed the disorder. The samples with MS were analyzed and their vitamin D levels compared to a control group of unaffected military personnel from the same grouping.

The white people studied showed a proportional drop in MS risk with an increased vitamin D level, with the people in the top fifth of the high-vitamin-D sample showing a 62 percent reduced risk. The researchers said this suggested an increased vitamin D intake might prevent many cases of MS.

The black and Hispanic people studied showed no drop in MS risk regardless of their vitamin D levels, but lead researcher Alberto Ascherio said this could be because both groups had overall lower vitamin D levels or because there were so few blacks and Hispanics in the sampling.

According to Nicholas LaRocca of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, which helped fund the study, the findings were promising, but it was too soon to begin recommending vitamin D supplements as a way to prevent MS.

Multiple sclerosis is an as-yet-incurable disease marked by disrupted communication between the brain and the body, sometimes leading to paralysis, and affects about 2 million people worldwide. Some experts believe it to be an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system attacks its own body.

Vitamin D has been shown in previous studies to reduce the risk of certain types of cancer and promotes calcium absorption, subsequently increasing the strength of bones. Vitamin D deficiency has been shown to lead to osteoporosis, rickets and a host of other health problems. The hormone can be introduced into the body through fatty fish such as salmon, or produced in the skin through sensible sun exposure, leading to its nickname, "the sunshine vitamin."


All content posted on this site is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. Truth Publishing LLC takes sole responsibility for all content. Truth Publishing sells no hard products and earns no money from the recommendation of products. is presented for educational and commentary purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice from any licensed practitioner. Truth Publishing assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. For the full terms of usage of this material, visit