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Large Gene Study Supports Link Between Low Vitamin D Levels and Risk of Getting MS

August 27, 2015

Researchers at McGill University reported results of a large-scale study looking at genetic factors that cause vitamin D deficiency and their impact on people’s risks of developing MS. Previous studies have pinpointed low levels of vitamin D as one of the factors that increases an individual’s chance of getting MS. The McGill researchers confirmed that people with gene variations linked to low vitamin D had double the chance of getting MS. It’s not known yet whether taking vitamin D supplements can reduce the risk of developing MS or help treat MS in people who already have the disease.

The National MS Society is supporting a clinical trial to determine whether vitamin D supplements can reduce disease activity in people who already have MS. (How to Participate in this Trial).

Read coverage of the McGill study in Boots WebMD

Read the open-access research paper

Read more about Vitamin D and MS

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are leading to better understanding and moving us closer to a world free of MS. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide.