MS and Vitamin D Revisited

100_0444      Lately I’ve read a virtual ton of reports and studies about Vitamin D and its possible cause and effects when it comes to Multiple Sclerosis. I think it’s great that science seems to be homing in on Vitamin D deficiency as being at least one of the likely players in this complex disease. I’m also glad to see that many Neurologists are now advising their patients to start taking a Vitamin D3 supplement as a possible way to slow down the progression of MS and Alzheimer’s as well. I do take it, and I honestly feel, that it helps.

     However, when I start seeing advertisements for very expensive UV lighting apparatus marketed to people who have been diagnosed with MS to help them boost their skin’s ability to develop more of this vital vitamin on their own, then I start to have a problem. The first one should be obvious to almost everyone, in that, UV lighting can be a very dangerous way of trying to enhance your skins ability to produce more vitamin D when the increased prevalence of developing skin cancer is factored in. And second, I am not at all sure that more Sun light from either the Sun or artificial UV lighting is where the true problem exists.

     Why? Because as a kid I spent seemingly all day every day outside whenever I could all year long, which makes me think that the problem may lye more in the skins ability to convert sunlight into Vitamin D then the actual amount of Sunlight that a person receives over any given period of time. It’s already a fairly well established fact that people with darker skin pigment are far less likely to develop MS in the first place then individuals, like my self, who have much fairer skin tone to begin with. My opinion is that it is far more likely that a genetic defect in the skin itself is mostly to blame for my skin’s inability to produce this vitamin on its own.

     And I just don’t think that using artificial light in this way is a beneficial addition to people like me. And in fact, it may be far more dangerous in the end then just adding a Vitamin D3 supplement to your diet. But that is a risk that each one of us must first weigh and ultimately decide on our own!



Bill Walker


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