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Can a lack of Vitamin D Increase your chances of getting MS?

Megan Hurtig

When studying this topic I found that a lack of Vitamin D is a


common genetic variable that can increase your chances of getting the
auto-immune disease Multiple Sclerosis. Multiple Sclerosis is an
inflammatory disease shown by myelin loss and developing neurological
damage. Although researchers have not yet found an exact cause for
the disease it appears that genetic, environmental, and biological
factors are important components. For years researchers have been
trying to prove that different environmental and genetic factors play
a large role in MS. Some of these studies showed that MS is much more
prevalent in places lacking sunshine such as Canada and Northern
Europe. This fact links to Vitamin D because sunshine provides
vitamin D which allows you’re immune and nervous system to function
properly. Other factors relating to vitamin D and sunshine are that
women who are pregnant during winter months are more likely to give
birth to children with MS. In one study written by the Multiple
Sclerosis Society of Canada they found that more MS patients are born
in summer months such as May than winter months such as November.
This event occurs because the women pregnant in May are lack Vitamin D
because they are pregnant during the winter months. Researchers have
found that vitamin D affects a certain genetic variant which fights
off the disease.

A map representing the number of


An X-ray of a brain people with MS with darker
with MS. colours representing more people.
Sunshine which provides Vitamin
D.
How do I know that the facts in this article are true?
I chose reliable sources such as PLoS genetics which is a peer
reviewed open access journal published by the Public Library of
Science, the MS Society of Canada and CBC news. I also asked by dad
about this subject because he has been an MS patient for several years
and has written an article about this topic for the MS Society.

Bibliography
"CBC News - Health - Vitamin D interacts with gene in MS: study." CBC.ca -
Canadian News Sports Entertainment Kids Docs Radio TV. N.p., n.d. Web.
19 Apr. 2010. <http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2009/02/05/ms-vitamin-
d.html>.
Date, Publication. "PLoS Genetics: Expression of the Multiple Sclerosis-
Associated MHC Class II Allele HLA-DRB1*1501 Is Regulated by Vitamin
D." PLoS Genetics: A Peer-Reviewed Open-Access Journal. N.p., n.d.
Web. 19 Apr. 2010.
<http://www.plosgenetics.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pgen.100
0369#s1>.
"MS Society of Canada - News in Research." Multiple Sclerosis Society of
Canada. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Apr. 2010.
<http://www.mssociety.ca/en/research/medmmo_20090205.htm>.
"Multiple sclerosis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia." Main Page -
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2010.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiple_sclerosis>.

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