The People's Perspective on Medicine

Vitamin D and Sunshine May Lower Risk of MS

People with higher levels of vitamin D in their bodies appear to be at lower risk of developing multiple sclerosis. This isn’t the first time that scientists have made a link between vitamin D and this neurological condition. In this research, Australian scientists studied 200 adults with a new diagnosis of MS. They were matched to 400 other Australians who did not have MS. The MS patients had much lower levels of skin damage due to sun exposure as well as vitamin D levels that were up to 10 percent lower. They had been exposed to less ultraviolet light from sunshine over the course of their lives. This research does not establish cause and effect, but it adds to a growing body of evidence suggesting that sun exposure may have some protective activity for the nervous system even though it may damage the skin.
[Neurology, Feb. 8, 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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I need to take vitamin D as I am deficient according to a blood test and I have tried various kinds, lanolin, cod oil, chewable, cholecalsiferol, all kinds. I seem to develop a lot of itchiness. I wonder if you happen to know of an oil that will sit well with me w/out itchiness or the general allergic reaction that I feel when I take any kind of vitamin D3. I would appreciate your advice.
Thank you,
Maria

I wonder if MS is more prevalent among people in northern climes, where there is less sunlight?

Very interesting. Perhaps this could explain why Western Washington has such a high level of MS.
Rita C

Please help me. I have been taking vitamin D supplements. What I want to know is how much should I take.
Thank you
PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: IDEALLY, THIS SHOULD BE DETERMINED BY YOUR BLOOD LEVELS. FOR GENERAL MAINTENANCE, USUALLY ABOUT 1000 IU/DAY IS REASONABLE.

Meanwhile, the editorial that ran last week referred to, perhaps indirectly, the doctor who is doing all the “science-based” determination (Greek guy, can’t remember his name; got mad and tossed the issue of Newsweek that had the article) that we “only” need 20 ng/ml for bone health; that vitamin D testing is a waste because everyone has enough, and we’re all blowing our money on Vitamin D supplements.
The women I know with MS spend a whole lot more on medical care than I will EVER spend on D supplementation.

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