Vitamin D supplements associated with lower risk of multiple sclerosis In the first study of its kind, research published in the January 13 2004 issue of the journal Neurology, has found that women who take multinutrient supplements that contain vitamin D have a 40 percent reduction in the risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS) compared to women who don’t take supplements.
The research team examined data obtained from the Nurses’ Health Study and the Nurses’ Health Study II, which lasted twenty and ten years, respectively, to include a total of 187,563 in the current analysis. Information on diet and supplement use was assessed at the beginning of the studies and every four years. One hundred seventy-three women developed multiple sclerosis during the period analyzed in the current research.
It was discovered that women whose vitamin D supplement intake was 400 international units or greater per day had a 40 percent reduction in the risk of developing MS compared to nonsupplement users. Women whose intake of vitamin D from both supplements and food also had a reduced risk. Multiple sclerosis risk was not lower in those whose vitamin D source was food alone. None of the other multivitamin components was found to be associated with MS risk, following adjustment for total vitamin D intake or vitamin D from supplements.
Author Kassandra Munger, MSc, of Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, commented, "Because the number of cases of MS increases the farther you get from the equator, one hypothesis has been that sunlight exposure and high levels of vitamin D may reduce the risk of MS. These results need to be confirmed with additional research, but it's exciting to think that something as simple as taking a multivitamin could reduce your risk of developing MS."
Multiple Sclerosis An unusual characteristic of MS worldwide is that it occurs in the general population at roughly twice the rate for those living above approximately the 40° latitude than for those living below the 40° latitude. For the United States, this phenomenon shows that those people living above 37° latitude on a line from the North Carolina-Virginia border to mid-California will statistically have twice the occurrence of MS than those living in the warmer climes below 37° latitude. The total estimated MS population in the United States is approximately 300,000. Below the 37° latitude the MS occurrence is 62.5 per 100,000 population, while above the 37° latitude the occurrence is 125 patients per 100,000 population. This phenomenon is consistent and is exhibited by the statistics of those people who have moved from one area to another, increasing or decreasing their risk for MS depending on the direction of their move and whether their move occurred before 15 years of age.
The Life Extension Foundation's protocol for MS is based partially on the work of Dr. Hans Neiper of Germany, who has used high-potency nutrient supplements to treat MS for many years. To help correct autoimmune disorders and protect against free-radical injury to the myelin sheath, the multi-ingredient Life Extension Mix should be taken in doses of 4 tablets 3 times a day. In addition, 1 capsule of Life Extension Booster should be taken daily; men also should take 6 capsules of Mineral Formula for Men, and women should take 6 capsules of Bone Assure. These formulas contain important minerals that have helped both male and female MS patients.
To protect the myelin sheath against a deficiency of essential fatty acids, 8 capsules a day of Mega EPA fish oil and 5 capsules a day of Mega GLA borage oil should be taken. These oils help to suppress autoimmune reactions and provide the building blocks to help rebuild the myelin sheath.
Curcumin from the spice turmeric may provide neuroprotection and slow erosion of the myelin shield. Two to five 900 mg capsules of Super Curcumin with Bioperine may be taken for therapeutic purposes.
Hydergine (5-20 mg a day) and/or acetyl-L-carnitine (1000 mg twice a day) and/or alpha-lipoic acid (500 mg twice a day) should be taken to provide myelin sheath protection and energy enhancement to the nerve fibers. Also, Coenzyme Q10 in doses of 100 mg 3 times a day can be especially important for MS patients. Coenzyme Q10 should be taken in oil-filled capsules for maximum assimilation. The addition of 30 to 60 mg of sublingual (taken under the tongue) vitamin B12 in the form of methylcobalamin could be beneficial. One tablespoon of soy lecithin should be taken every day to provide the phosphatides that are so important to maintaining the integrity of the cell membrane.
Vitamin D is necessary for utilization of calcium and phosphorus. The vitamin D3 supplied by the Life Extension Foundation is synthesized, but its form (cholecalciferol) is identical to that which is derived from cholesterol in the human body with a final transformation produced by sunlight on the skin. The other major form is ergocalciferol (vitamin D2), a plant analogue of the cholecalciferol. It is vitamin D3 that has been used to help prevent and treat breast cancer, prostate and possibly other cancers and vitamin D3 is essential to maintain bone density.
Magnesium is crucial for maintaining arterial health, normal blood pressure, and normal heart rhythm. Eighty percent of Americans do not receive even the RDA for magnesium in their diet, and hundreds of published studies have implicated magnesium deficiency as a leading cause of cardiovascular disease and stroke. Although Life Extension Mix contains a high amount of magnesium, many people may wish to take additional magnesium and other minerals as a “booster” to Life Extension Mix. Mineral Formula for Men has been formulated to help ensure optimal magnesium intake.
Mineral Formula for Men contains four different forms of magnesium that are differently digested and absorbed in the body to protect against vascular disease and heart rhythm disturbances.
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