Higher levels of Vitamin D associated with lower risk of developing multiple sclerosis or diabetes in some groups

A New York Times piece on Vitamin D as the “Nutrient of the Decade” caught our eye. In addition to reporting on recent studies on Vitamin D’s anti-cancer properties, this article reviewed investigations linking higher Vitamin D levels to decreased risk of developing multiple sclerosis or diabetes in some populations.

Here’s a short excerpt:

The incidence of autoimmune diseases like Type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis has been linked to low levels of vitamin D. A study published on Dec. 20, 2006, in The Journal of the American Medical Association examined the risk of developing multiple sclerosis among more than seven million military recruits followed for up to 12 years. Among whites, but not blacks or Hispanics, the risk of developing M.S. increased with ever lower levels of vitamin D in their blood serum before age 20.

A study published in Neurology in 2004 found a 40 percent lower risk of M.S. in women who took at least 400 I.U. of vitamin D a day. Likewise, a study of a national sample of non-Hispanic whites found a 75 percent lower risk of diabetes among those with the highest blood levels of vitamin D.

For more on Vitamin D3, the supplement form mentioned in this NYT piece, see the NYBC entries:

Vitamin D 3 1000IU

and

Vitamin D3 400IU

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