Ignorance gives me license to imagine all kinds of possibilities. We've all heard that sunshine is good for us with MS. Why? Some scientists tie this with the general (and frequently cited!) observation of lower prevalence of MS with closer proximity to the equator (but with exceptions that are conveniently ignored). Sunshine is known to be absorbed by the skin, where eventually in the body it becomes Vitamin D. The assumption has been that it is Vitamin D that accounts for less MS. (Like many, I take Vitamin D supplements.) But sunshine has many components; could the mechanism be something else? Maybe the focus on D is incorrect. Is there evidence that Vitamin D is definitely the key ingredient?
I don't know much about sunshine, but I know it is a source of ultraviolet A and B (cause of sunburn) rays. I also know that ultraviolet rays are used to kill germs; they are even used in some water purification. If viruses or bacteria are involved in MS, maybe UVA or UVB rays affect them and thus the disease? Is THIS the mechanism at work? Maybe a dose of ultraviolet would be more useful than Vitamin D.
Possibly but evidence such as this study indicate it is vitamin D as the imunosuppressive element associated with sunshine.
I feel ignorance is no excuse for purposefully dismissing information so to promote a "pet theory" Lynda. I've posted this information before on the specific influences vitamin D has on the well identified elements the immune system employs in the disease of MS. Here it is again......
This is an excerpt from Vitamin D Supplementation in the Fight Against Multiple Sclerosis
1) Suppresses antibody production by B cells and the proliferation of T cells in the thymus.
2) Upregulates cytokines TGF-beta and IL-4. These proteins, which are produced by immune cells, act as suppressants of inflammatory T cells.
3) Inhibits production of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1, IL-2, TNF
and IFN gamma which also reduces inflamammatory reactions.
4) Interferes with T helper function and inhibits the passive transfer of cellular immunity by Th in vivo
5) Inhibits the production of NO (nitric oxide) by immune cells. NO has been identified as one of the most destructive products of the immune system and is an important factor in demyelination.
6) Inhibits the proliferation of activated and memory T cells. Such cells are
the main mediators of the inflammatory autoimmune reactions of MS.
7) Exerts immunomodulating effects in the CNS by inducing a profound
downregulation of antigen expression by both infiltrating and resident antigen-presenting
cells (e.g. macrophages).
8 ) Inhibits the actions of antigen presenting dendritic cells.
In summary, vitamin D hormone has numerous effects on the immune system and acts within the CNS. All of these effects have the combined result of significantly reducing inflammatory autoimmune reactions from occurring and they readily explain the impressive correlation between MS prevalence and vitamin D supply and why vitamin D hormone is so effective in suppressing a variety of animal autoimmune diseases including EAE (animal MS)
lyndacarol wrote:I've read (but can't recall the source--so my husband says I can't use this--see how well I listen?) that sunshine removes insulin from the body. (See? It all comes back to insulin for me!) Could this explain the situation with MS and the equator? Perhaps something in sunshine is removing excess insulin for those nearer to the equator.
If you could provide me with with a reputable source of this I would appreciate it. try Pubmed or Google for your search.