Vitamin D and multiple sclerosis.

Department of Exercise and Nutrition Science, School of Public Health and Health Professions, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14214, USA.
Critical reviews in food science and nutrition (Impact Factor: 3.73). 11/2012; 52(11):980-7. DOI: 10.1080/10408398.2010.516034
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory disease of the central nervous system and characterized by neurological and cognitive manifestations. The disease is more common in populations living in high altitudes with low sun exposure, women more than men, and certain ethnic backgrounds more than others. The etiology of MS is yet unknown, although several factors have been implicated in its development. These include genetic factors and environmental factors as well as dietary components and their interactions. Among the dietary components that have recently attracted the attention is vitamin D. This mini-review summarizes current knowledge on the potential use of vitamin D in the protection and treatment of MS. In addition, the mechanism(s) by which vitamin D plays a role in the development and/or protection from MS are discussed.

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    ABSTRACT: Vitamin D has received a lot of attention recently as a result of a meteoric rise in the number of publications showing that vitamin D plays a crucial role in a plethora of physiological functions and associating vitamin D deficiency with many acute and chronic illnesses including disorders of calcium metabolism, autoimmune diseases, some cancers, type 2 diabetes mellitus, infectious diseases and cardiovascular disease. The recent data on vitamin D from experimental, ecological, case-control, retrospective and prospective observational studies, as well as smaller intervention studies, are significant and confirm the sunshine vitamin's essential role in a variety of physiological and preventative functions. The results of these studies justify the recommendation to improve the general vitamin D status in children and adults by means of a healthy approach to sunlight exposure, consumption of foods containing vitamin D and supplementation with vitamin D preparations. In general, closer attention should therefore be paid to vitamin D deficiency in medical and pharmaceutical practice than has been the case hitherto.
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