The People's Perspective on Medicine

How Does Vitamin D Act Against MS?

Researchers have long known that sun exposure is related to multiple sclerosis. The less sunlight a person is exposed to the greater the risk for this autoimmune disease. Researchers have assumed that there was something about vitamin D made through sun exposure that decreases the likelihood of both developing MS or aggravating the condition. Patients with MS who have low levels of vitamin D tend to have more relapses while those who get high doses of vitamin D appear to be able to stave off these acute episodes.

Now researchers have uncovered a possible mechanism for the vitamin D effect against multiple sclerosis. They have found that vitamin D turns off a gene responsible for generating an immune system compound called Interleukin-17. IL-17 plays a role in the autoimmune system destruction of nerve cells that characterize MS. Vitamin D also turns on a gene that helps T cells combat cell destruction. This combined activity may account for the beneficial effect of this nutrient on MS.

[Molecular and Cellular Biology, Sept., 2011]

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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cpmt, theoretically about 20 minutes of full sun every day or so without sunscreen should be enough for our bodies to make what we need.
Unfortunately there are two major problems. Firstly few people have the time to get in the sun for so long, not even counting the bad press the sun gets; but also, many people (me for one) do not make enough D from sunlight.
I’m sure my son and I aren’t the only ones who can’t make enough D from the sun. It behooves everyone to get their blood tested for D3, 25 (OH)D is the proper test. If your number is under 60 then you need to supplement.
I just heard from a friend whose family is always getting sick. She finally had everyone tested. Her 4 children were all in the 20s but she was barely within the ideal range.

I tried to get the whole text and couldn’t. Can you please let us know how much Vitamin D (am assuming D3)they used in the study?

Vitamin D is a wonderful remedy but people should NOT assume that the sunshine is enough. I tried for years to raise my level by sunning myself and finally my Dr had me start supplements. We had to raise them constantly and at about 12,000 iu a day my number finally got to 40 (started at 20). In the meantime I got cervical cancer. My number got that high only by the end of my treatment in Nov 2010.
The Lord certainly provides: I started taking a different calcium supplement with vitamin D about that time and unbeknownst to me the amount of D declared was many times that listed. My next follow up scan was very good and the oncologist was surprised and delighted. Just after the good news I received an email with an attach note from NOW about their vitamin D error.
My family Dr immediately tested my D and it was 110! I truly believe that the manufacturer’s error saved me from continuing cancer. My Dr wants me to keep it up to at least the 100 level. I’m going to have to play around with the amounts to keep it there.
I insisted my son get checked and even though he runs daily in full sunshine his level was about 28. Needless to say I told him to take D3.

I was told that we should take 15min. of sun at day and then put the sun creams to protect our skin. We are not getting enough sun to get enough vit. D

I have been diagnosed with Hpylori – I don’t have any symptoms. I was prescribed antibiotics which I am not happy about taking them long term. Do you have anything that I can do to cure my body?
Thank you

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