Who said sunbathing couldnt be good for you?
Get back out in the sunshine (as soon as we are lucky enough to have some that is). Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, could be the key to preventing multiple sclerosis.
Scientists claim to have found a link between vitamin D deficiency, caused by lack of exposure to sunshine, and a gene that increases the risk of the debilitating auto-immune disease.
George Ebers, Professor of Clinical Neurology at the University of Oxford, told The Times that his work suggests a deficiency of vitamin D during pregnancy and childhood may increase the risk of the child developing the disease.
His findings also point to a genetic vulnerability to MS, passed down through families, which could be triggered by lack of vitamin D, and indicate that daily vitamin D supplements could reduce numbers affected by the disease.
This research could explain why the incidence of MS is much higher in cloudy Scotland than in England and why fewer people with MS are born in November and more in May — implicating a lack of sunlight during pregnancy.
Professor Ebers added: ‘Serious questions now arise over the wisdom of current advice to limit sun exposure and avoid sunbathing.’