It seems to be particularly a Scottish problem concerning multiple sclerosis(MS). In the south of England there were 140 reported cases per 100,000 in 2010 whereas in Orkney there were 402. One theory is our latitude. The further north you live the less UVB light is available to make vitamin D on your skin. Another interesting statistic is that the highest prevalence of MS in Scotland is in people born in April and May whereas in Australia there are more MS sufferers with birthdays in December and January.
It is thought this is because less vitamin D is produced by the mother in the winter months with a reduction in availability for the growing baby. This again points to the link with sunshine and vitamin D during the pregnancy. Lots of research shows if you have a genetic disposition to MS then lack of vitamin D is definitely a factor. That is why I recommend taking vitamin D supplements for most people and particularly MS families. If you are interested in hearing more about vitamin D and how it relates to lots of diseases then come along to the Edinburgh Science Festival ‘In need of sunshine’ slot Tuesday March 28th at 5.30pm
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