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September 2008 Off the Wire . . .



News Article 01raw

Scottish Research Highlights Possible Role Of Vitamin D In MS

Main Category: Multiple Sclerosis
Article Date: 17 Sep 2008
A new report looking at the effect of Scotland's damp and cloudy climate on health highlights vitamin D deficiency as playing a role in a number of conditions - including MS.

'Scotland's Health Deficit - An Explanation and a Plan', launched today by long-time vitamin D campaigner Dr Oliver Gillie, draws parallels between Scotland's weather and indicators of disease. Dr Gillie's thesis is that the high prevalence of MS in Scotland can be explained by less exposure to the sun and a move away from a fish-based diet high in vitamin D.

Dr Lee Dunster, head of research at the MS Society, said: "MS is more common further away from the equator and the lack of intense sunshine as you head north may lead to people getting less vitamin D, but the link with MS is not explicit and we need to know more.

"Current research doesn't support vitamin D as a therapy for MS, but there are reasons people with MS should look at their intake. It can reduce the risk of osteoporosis, which is important if you are less mobile, spend a lot of time indoors, or take long courses of steroids.

"It's only natural that people with MS may see this study and think about giving their children extra vitamin D, but goverment guidance is that you should be able to get all you need from a good diet and the sun. The best advice is talk to your GP or MS nurse before starting to take lots of new supplements, and the same advice applies if you are thinking about the health of your children."

You can read about vitamin D and MS in an article from the May / June edition of MS Matters, the MS Society's membership magazine, below. To subscribe to MS Matters, you can join us here.

MS Society

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