As part as my promise to you, I’ll be keeping you updated with the latest health science research. For this blog I’ll introduce the fat soluble vitamin D and recent research in relation to multiple sclerosis. As always I’ll post relevant websites below for further information.
Vitamin D is important for overall health including helping create strong bones, fighting infections in the body and making sure your heart, lungs, muscles and brain work well. Unlike other vitamins, your body can make its own vitamin D from sun exposure, supplements and a small amount from some foods. When the body gets vitamin D it turns it into a hormone that is sometimes called ‘activated vitamin D’ or ‘calcitriol’. Vitamin D is also important for other vitamins and mineral to work properly in the body for example calcium and phosphorus are essential for developing bone structure and the body needs vitamin D to absorb these minerals. Researchers are now discovering that vitamin D may be useful for other reasons outside bone health. Some functions that vitamin D may help with include:
The immune system
anti cancer effects
multiple sclerosis (MS)
I’ve decided to do some thorough research on vitamin D and the new medical research that vitamin D may help prevent and treat MS sufferers. Some researchers think vitamin D may have potential to prevent MS or reduce the number of relapses and how severe they are. It’s now known that vitamin D plays a role in your immune and nervous systems and how they work, although exactly how is still being studied.
Some cells in your immune and nervous systems have receptors for vitamin D. Receptors are found on the surface of a cell where they receive chemical signals. By attaching themselves to a receptor, these chemical signals direct a cell to do something, for example to act in a certain way, or to divide or die. The vitamin D receptors on nerve and immune system cells means that vitamin D is somehow affecting the cell. The cells also control how much vitamin D they have inside of them.When immune system cells are exposed to vitamin D in laboratory experiments they become less inflamed. This could mean that vitamin D affects your immune system and makes it less likely to attack other cells in your body. Some researchers believe that this means vitamin D has the potential to prevent MS from developing. It could also affect relapsing remitting MS by reducing the number of relapses and how severe they are.
This new research is truly exciting and could mean vitamin D has the potential to be an inexpensive, safe and convenient treatment for people with MS. More research is needed to confirm these findings with larger groups of people and to help understand the mechanisms for these effects, but the results are promising.