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Sun Exposure in Younger Years May Delay Onset of MS

November 9, 2015

A new study suggests that people with multiple sclerosis tend to develop it later on if they received regular exposure to the sun as a child or teenager.  This falls in line with earlier reports linking the disease’s progression to a lack of vitamin D.

The study included 1,200 Danish adults with MS, separated into a group that received daily sunlight and a group that had gotten less. The study found that the group that soaked up more sun as a kid consistently experienced the symptoms at a later age.

The findings do not guarantee that spending time in the sun will treat the disease, or prevent it altogether. However, sunlight triggers the body's synthesis of vitamin D, and some studies have linked both sun exposure and higher levels of vitamin D in the blood to a lower risk of multiple sclerosis.

Increasing your Vitamin D level is an important thing to do when living with MS. Patients can talk to their doctors about whether having a vitamin D supplement is a good idea. They can also get the vitamin through certain foods, including cereals certain fish and dairy products fortified with vitamin D.