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Vitamin D protects against MS, large study suggests

Postby Nick » Tue Dec 19, 2006 8:24 pm

Vitamin D protects against MS, large study suggests

An abundance of vitamin D seems to help prevent multiple sclerosis, according to a study in more than seven million people that offers some of the strongest evidence yet of the power of the "sunshine vitamin" against MS. The research found that white members of the U.S. military with the highest blood levels of vitamin D were 62 per cent less likely to develop multiple sclerosis than people with low levels.

There was no such connection in blacks or Hispanics, possibly because there were so few in the group studied. Also, the body makes vitamin D from sunlight, and the pigmented skin of blacks and other dark-skinned ethnic groups doesn't absorb sunlight as easily as pale skin.
The new research echoes findings in smaller studies that examined why the nerve-damaging disease historically has been more common in people who live in regions farther from the equator where there is less intense year-round sunlight.

"This is the first large prospective study where blood levels are measured in young adults and compared to their future risk. It's definitely different and much stronger evidence," said Dr. Alberto Ascherio, the senior author and an associate professor of nutrition at Harvard's School of Public Health.The study appears in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Association.

"If confirmed, this finding suggests that many cases of MS could be prevented by increasing vitamin D levels," Ascherio said. Still, he said the findings don't prove that a lack of vitamin D can cause MS, so it's too preliminary to recommend that people take vitamin D pills to avoid the disease.

Vitamin D is also found in fortified milk and oily fish, but it's hard to get enough just from diet. Sunlight is the biggest source of vitamin D, which is needed for strong bones. Other studies have linked high levels of vitamin D in the blood to lower risks of a variety of cancers. The MS researchers worked with the U.S. army and navy in analyzing blood samples of military personnel stored by the Department of Defence.

Vitamin deficiency in young people

Military databases showed that 257 service men and women were diagnosed with MS between 1992 and 2004. The increased MS risk was especially strong in people who were younger than 20 when they entered the study. The researchers said that finding suggests that vitamin D exposure before adulthood could be particularly important.
Using blood samples to measure vitamin D levels "tends to nail it down in a much more reliable way" than studies that have relied on people's memories of vitamin D exposure, said Dr. Nicholas LaRocca of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

MS is among the most common nerve disorders affecting young adults, mostly women. Canada has the highest incidence in the world at 240 cases among every 100,000 people, according to a study by a University of Calgary team published in the journal Multiple Sclerosis in 2005.
Around two million people worldwide have MS, a chronic autoimmune disease in which the body attacks the fatty insulation that surrounds nerve fibres.

Ascherio said there's some evidence that its incidence is increasing in sunny regions including the South and West, possibly because people are avoiding the sun or using sunscreen to protect against skin cancer. Some doctors think those practices also have contributed to vitamin D deficiencies in adolescents and young adults.

"There's no question that vitamin D deficiency is an epidemic in the United States," said Dr. William Finn, a vitamin D expert at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The MS study "is just one more reason to pay attention to it."

MS symptoms vary but can be disabling and can include tingling pain in the arms and legs, fatigue and vision problems. Doctors believe it is genetic and perhaps triggered in susceptible people by environmental causes, including possibly some viruses. Vitamin D deficiency could be another trigger.

It's unclear how lack of vitamin D might contribute. In mouse experiments, the vitamin stimulated production of chemicals that fight an MS-like disease.

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Nick
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links

Postby notasperfectasyou » Thu Dec 21, 2006 3:02 pm

I thought I’d start a list of links to Vitamin D articles that might help folks assimilate this information faster. It’s not a new topic. You can tell from the dates on some of these articles that it’s been around a while.

The Role of Vitamin D in Multiple Sclerosis

Vitamin D intake and incidence of multiple sclerosis

Vitamin D and multiple sclerosis

Genetic analysis of vitamin D related genes in Canadian multiple sclerosis patients

Vitamin D and Autoimmunity: Is Vitamin D Status an Environmental Factor Affecting Autoimmune Disease Prevalence?

A pilot study of oral calcitriol (1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3) for relapsing–remitting multiple sclerosis

Mounting Evidence for Vitamin D as an Environmental Factor Affecting Autoimmune Disease Prevalence

That’s just a few. There are a lot more. Infact in some of these pages you can get cites of other artciles that cited that article. If you want me to post more links like this I will.

My gut tells me that Vitamin D is more so linked to prevention and likely does a lot less once you have MS. But, we’re still taking 4000 IU’s of D3 daily. D3 is one of the cheaper supplements that’s on the MS list. napay
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good one

Postby jimmylegs » Fri Dec 22, 2006 6:57 am

great start napay :D

d
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Re: good one

Postby notasperfectasyou » Fri Dec 22, 2006 11:41 am

jimmylegs wrote:great start napay :D

d


Thanks Jimmy. I'm hoping that by providing links others might read the basic research and post conclusions here. It honestly takes me too long to do posts the way I have in the past. I need the folks here to help synthesis the info.

My search on Vitamin D Multiple Sclerosis came up with over 2000 hits on Journal articles. I spent an hour typing out the above post.........

napay
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Postby jimmylegs » Fri Dec 22, 2006 1:55 pm

ya it is sure a ton of work. your time spent is well worth it and just having the links available are a great big help
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New recommendations for vitamin D intake

Postby Nick » Tue Jan 09, 2007 4:06 pm

Risk assessment for vitamin D

John N Hathcock, Andrew Shao, Reinhold Vieth, and Robert Heaney

ABSTRACT

The objective of this review was to apply the risk assessment methodology
used by the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) to derive a revised safe Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) for vitamin D.

New data continue to emerge regarding the health benefits of vitamin Dbeyond its role in bone. The intakes associated with those benefits suggest a need for levels of supplementation, food fortification, or both that are higher than current levels. A prevailing concern exists, however, regarding the potential for toxicity related to excessive vitaminD intakes. The UL established by the FNB for vitaminD(50 microg, or 2000 IU) is not based on current evidence and is viewed by many as being too restrictive, thus curtailing research, commercial development, and optimization of nutritional policy. Human clinical trial data published subsequent to the establishment of the FNB vitamin D UL published in 1997 support a significantly higher UL.

We present a risk assessment based on relevant, well-designed human
clinical trials of vitamin D. Collectively, the absence of toxicity in trials conducted in healthy adults that used vitamin D dose gt/=250 microg/d (10,000 IU vitamin D3) supports the confident selection of this value as the UL.

Am J Clin Nutr 2007;85:6 –18.

This article is available for reading here.

Cheers
Nick
Last edited by Nick on Fri Jan 12, 2007 7:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby JFH » Wed Jan 10, 2007 2:57 am

Glad you posted that Nick, thankyou.
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Ho hum. Another study involving disease prevention and vit D

Postby Nick » Sat Feb 10, 2007 10:10 am

Another study that promotes the virtues of vitamin D. I believe these results to be consistent with studies involving MS prevention and vitamin D. (ie. Harvard's Ascherio and the nurses)

Vitamin D Backed For Cancer Prevention In Two New Studies

Science Daily — Two new vitamin D studies using a sophisticated form of analysis called meta-analysis, in which data from multiple reports is combined, have revealed new prescriptions for possibly preventing up to half of the cases of breast cancer and two-thirds of the cases of colorectal cancer in the United States. The work was conducted by a core team of cancer prevention specialists at the Moores Cancer Center at University of California, San Diego (UCSD), and colleagues from both coasts.

The breast cancer study, published online in the current issue of the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, pooled dose-response data from two earlier studies - the Harvard Nurses Health Study and the St. George's Hospital Study - and found that individuals with the highest blood levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D, or 25(OH)D, had the lowest risk of breast cancer.

The researchers divided the 1,760 records of individuals in the two studies into five equal groups, from the lowest blood levels of 25(OH)D (less than 13 nanograms per milliliter, or 13 ng/ml) to the highest (approximately 52 ng/ml). The data also included whether or not the individual had developed cancer.

"The data were very clear, showing that individuals in the group with the lowest blood levels had the highest rates of breast cancer, and the breast cancer rates dropped as the blood levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D increased," said study co-author Cedric Garland, Dr.P.H. "The serum level associated with a 50 percent reduction in risk could be maintained by taking 2,000 international units of vitamin D3 daily plus, when the weather permits, spending 10 to 15 minutes a day in the sun."
The colorectal cancer study, published online February 6 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, is a meta-analysis of five studies that explored the association of blood levels of 25(OH)D with risk of colon cancer. All of the studies involved blood collected and tested for 25 (OH)D levels from healthy volunteer donors who were then followed for up to 25 years for development of colorectal cancer.

As with the breast cancer study, the dose-response data on a total of 1,448 individuals were put into order by serum 25(OH)D level and then divided into five equal groups, from the lowest blood levels to the highest.

"Through this meta-analysis we found that raising the serum level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D to 34 ng/ml would reduce the incidence rates of colorectal cancer by half," said co-author Edward D. Gorham, Ph.D. "We project a two-thirds reduction in incidence with serum levels of 46ng/ml, which corresponds to a daily intake of 2,000 IU of vitamin D3. This would be best achieved with a combination of diet, supplements and 10 to 15 minutes per day in the sun."

Vitamin D3 is available through diet, supplements and exposure of the skin to sunlight, or ultraviolet B (UVB). In the paper, the researchers underscored the importance of limiting sun exposure such that the skin does not change color (tan) or burn. For a typical fair-skinned Caucasian individual, adequate vitamin D could be photosynthesized safely by spending 10 to 15 minutes in the noontime sun on a clear day with 50 percent of skin area exposed to the sun. Darker skinned individuals may require more time in the sun, such as 25 minutes. For people with photosensitivity disorders, or anyone with a personal or family history of nonmelanoma skin cancer, any amount of extra sun exposure would be inadvisable.

The meta-analysis on colorectal cancer includes data from the Women's Health Initiative, which had shown in 2006 that a low dose of vitamin D did not protect against colorectal cancer within seven years of follow-up. However, the researchers wrote, the meta-analysis indicates that a higher dose may reduce its incidence.

"Meta-analysis is an important tool for revealing trends that may not be apparent in a single study," said co-author Sharif B. Mohr, M.P.H. "Pooling of independent but similar studies increases precision, and therefore the confidence level of the findings."
The authors recommend further research to study individuals for the effect of vitamin D from sunlight, diet and supplements on the risk of cancer.

Co-authors on both the breast cancer and colorectal meta-analysis papers are Edward D. Gorham, MPH, Ph.D., Cedric F. Garland, Dr.P.H.; Frank C. Garland, Ph.D.; Sharif B. Mohr, MPH; William B. Grant, Ph.D; Martin Lipkin, M.D.; Harold L. Newmark, ScD; Edward Giovannucci, M.D., ScD; and Michael F. Holick, M.D., Ph.D. Co-author on the colorectal meta-analysis paper only was Melissa Wei, B.S. Authors' institutional affiliations are UCSD Department of Family and Preventive Medicine and Moores UCSD Cancer Center (Gorham, Garland, Garland); Naval Health Research Center, San Diego (Gorham, F.C. Garland, Mohr); SUNARC-Sunlight, Nutrition and Health Research Center, San Francisco (Grant); Strang Cancer Prevention Center of Rockefeller University, New York, NY (Lipkin); Rutgers--The State University of New Jersey and Cancer Institute of New Jersey (Newmark); Harvard Schools of Public Health and Medicine (Giovannucci, Wei); and Boston University School of Medicine (Holick). Funding for this research was provided by a Congressional allocation to the Hollings Cancer Center of the Medical University of South Carolina through the Department of the Navy.
Note: This story has been adapted from a news release issued by University of California - San Diego.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070206100608.htm

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Nick
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Vitamin D3 Supplement - Children

Postby dreddk » Tue Feb 27, 2007 12:43 pm

Hi,
I'm curious as to whether anyone is giving a Vitamin D3 supplement to their children. Given that the research indicates that there is a probibility that Vitamin D3 reduces the likelihood of developing MS I have been wondering about giving my daughters a supplement (My wife as RRMS).
If so, what product do you use?
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Postby Loobie » Tue Feb 27, 2007 1:36 pm

I have an 11 year old daughter that I give 800 IU per day of Solgar D (colicalciferol(SP?)).

I am the one with MS and I take 2400 IU of Carlson D3.

My daughter shows no ill effects from taking that quantity. I have had her on 1000 IU also since that was the only size they had at the vitamin store. Before I learned of the potential benefits of D for MS prevention, I still had her on it after I listened to a radio show talk about giving your children that much in the winter to help stave off the flu as opposed to giving them the flu shot.
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Postby dreddk » Tue Feb 27, 2007 1:57 pm

That's interesting thanks - I see in the large study of nurses that 400IU seemed to offer some benefit but then several other studies I have read suggest that around the 800IU or greater is needed to have any real effect on the body's vitamin d levels. My eldest daughter is 2 1/2 so I'm thinking I will talk to her GP about options as the supplements available in nz with a decent amount of vitamin d also have large amounts of vitamin a and are not suitable for young children.
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Postby JFH » Tue Feb 27, 2007 2:20 pm

I encourage my daugters to take at least 10ug a day.
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Postby Nick » Wed Mar 07, 2007 1:17 pm

I have three children, ages 10,8 and 2 years old. I give the older two, 2,000 IU/d and the younger one, 1,000 IU/d. I usually give the older kids two pure D3 tablets and the younger one flavoured cod liver oil or flavoured liquid D3.

DIRECT-MS, of which I am a participant, has materials which address the issue of prevention.

Protect Your Family from Multiple Sclerosis]
This booklet emphasizes the high risk for contracting MS of first-degree relatives of persons with MS. It discusses the causal factors of MS with special emphasis on vitamin D deficiency as a primary cause. Finally it demonstrates that adequate vitamin D can likely prevent MS in most cases and provides a recommended supplementation regime.

Preventing Multiple Sclerosis and is a web cast regarding nutrition and Multiple Sclerosis. The focus of the Prevention presentation is how MS can be easily, safely and inexpensively prevented by focusing on protective factors. This is a must see for those people with MS who have children.

Cheers
Nick
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Postby dreddk » Wed Mar 07, 2007 2:21 pm

Hi Nick,
If you don't mind me asking, what cod liver oil are you giving your youngest? I've ordered the carlsons cod liver oil lemon flavored. The recommended dosage I have seen works out at 1 teaspoon for a 2 year old which is 400IU. Are you giving a higher dosage? I reluctant to give her more due to the high vitamin A content of cod liver oils.

Like you, once she's a bit older i'm going to switch her to the straight pills.
thanks
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Postby Nick » Wed Mar 07, 2007 3:58 pm

Hey Dredd

The CLO I give is the Arctic brand. I'm not too stringent because we don't give him cow milk nor too much gluten, thus the most likely instigators are absent or very reduced. Once he ages and is accepting of the pill form I'll try to convert him.

Of course whenever the oppotunity presents itself he gets exposed to UVR in appropriate amounts.

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