Tags: vitamin D | ease | symptoms | MS | slow progression | multiple sclerosis

Vitamin D Could Ease Symptoms of MS

Wednesday, 18 November 2009 09:36 AM

Australian scientists have found that Vitamin D may slow the progression of multiple sclerosis (MS).

Figures showing that people living in Tasmania, the state furthest from the equator which gets the least amount of sunlight, are seven times more likely to develop MS than Queenslanders, who get more sun, had suggested a link between sunlight exposure and the disease.

Researchers at the Menzies Institute have now found that taking more vitamin D may also reduce the symptoms of the disease.

They presented their paper at a national scientific conference for medical research in Hobart.

Sydney-born soprano Toni Powell was singing with Opera Australia when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in her late 20s.

"I was at rehearsals and in performances and the tingles were coming up and down my arms and legs and my balance was getting worse," she said.

"During one performance of a very energetic dance show, I just went flat over and my partner just picked me up so I didn't disturb the line. When you can't stand up and when you can't walk elegantly out onto an operatic stage or judge all the obstacles, it becomes very difficult to keep working in that field."

Now Ms Powell is 44, teaches singing and uses a walking stick.

She says the symptoms of the disease come in waves or attacks where she can lose the entire feeling in her hands or legs.

"The majority of my lesions—which is where there have been attacks on my central nervous system—are actually in my spine so my biggest problem is with walking and my balance. So I find myself falling over a little more than I would like to," she said.

The autoimmune disease affects the central nervous system and occurs more often in regions furthest from the equator.

© HealthDay

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Australian scientists have found that Vitamin D may slow the progression of multiple sclerosis (MS).
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Wednesday, 18 November 2009 09:36 AM
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