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People genetically prone to low vitamin-D levels are at increased risk of multiple sclerosis, a large study suggests.
The findings, based on the DNA profiles of tens of thousands of people of European descent, add weight to the theory that the sunshine vitamin plays a role in MS.
Scientists are already testing whether giving people extra vitamin D might prevent or ease MS.
Experts say the jury is still out.
It is likely that environmental and genetic factors are involved in this disease of the nerves in the brain and spinal cord, they say.
And if you think you may not be getting sufficient vitamin D from sunlight or your diet, you should discuss this with your doctor. Taking too much vitamin D can also be dangerous.
Research around the world already shows MS is more common in less sunny countries, further from the equator.
But it is not clear if this relationship is causal – other factors might be at play.
The findings, published in the journal PLoS Medicine, indicated people with lower blood levels of a marker of vitamin D, due to their genetic predisposition, were significantly more likely to have MS than individuals without these genes.
Read full, original post: Low vitamin-D genes linked to MS