July 16, 2010 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer http://www.naturalnews.com/029217_multiple_sclerosis_sunlight.html
(NaturalNews) A recent study out of Australia has found that natural sunlight plays a very important role in the development of unborn children. According to the research, mothers who get little sunlight during the first 90 days of their pregnancies bear children with an increased risk of developing multiple sclerosis later on in their lives.
Once again, the connection between vitamin D and good health is clearly evident in a scientific study. Published in the British Medical Journal, the study revealed that when a pregnant woman fails to get enough sunlight during her pregnancy, the development of her child's central nervous system and immune system becomes compromised. Consequently, her child will be more susceptible to developing MS as an adult.
Researchers were able to verify the connection between low vitamin D levels and MS by evaluating a series of birth records from between 1920 and 1950. The records revealed that many MS patients born during this time period were born in the months of November and December in the Southern Hemisphere, which would have placed the early days of their development during the winter months when their mothers' sunlight exposure was likely at a minimum.
On the flip side, experts observed that very few of the MS patients were born between May and June, when their first trimesters would have landed during the warm summer months when sunlight exposure is maximized.
"The risk of multiple sclerosis was around 30 percent higher for those born in the early summer months of November and December compared to the months of May and June," explained researches in a statement about the study.
Experts derived similar conclusions in studies conducted in the Northern Hemisphere as well. Most MS patients seem to have been in their first trimesters of development during the winter. In fact, cases of MS become increasingly more prevalent the further you travel away from the equator, indicating that sunlight exposure is directly linked to MS susceptibility.
If natural sunlight is unavailable, mothers can always supplement with natural vitamin D3 in order to maintain their own health and to help ensure that their babies experience healthy development. Vitamin D3 supplementation is inexpensive and it is a great, simple way to maximize health and well-being.
From http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE63S65A20100429 (see below)
HONG KONG (Reuters) - Children whose mothers had low exposure to sunlight during their first three months of pregnancy may have a higher risk of developing multiple sclerosis later in life, a study in Australia has found.
Low vitamin D levels have long been linked to a higher risk of MS. Experts suspect an expectant mother's lack of exposure to sunlight - the main source of vitamin D - may affect the fetus's central nervous system or immune system, and predispose it to developing MS later in life.
In the Australian study, researchers combed birth records of 1,524 MS patients born between 1920 and 1950, and found there were more of them born in the months of November and December.
This means their first trimester occurred during the winter months of April to June, a time when expectant mothers in the southern hemisphere may prefer to be indoors to escape the cold.
Conversely, there were far fewer MS patients who were born in May and June - meaning their first trimesters were in the early summer months of September to November.
"The risk of multiple sclerosis was around 30 percent higher for those born in the early summer months of November and December compared to the months of May and June," the researchers wrote in a statement.
The research, by Judith Staples and Lynette Lim at the Australian National University in Canberra and professor Anne-Louise Ponsonby at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, was published in the British Medical Journal on Friday.
Vitamin D may be particularly important for the development of the fetus's central nervous system, the investigators wrote.
"Vitamin D supplementation for the prevention of multiple sclerosis might also need to be considered during in utero development," they wrote in the paper.
Their findings were supported by previous studies conducted in the northern hemisphere which found more cases of MS among people born in May, whose mothers probably had little exposure to sunlight in their first trimester during the colder months of September to November.
MS — more prevalent in regions that are further away from the equator — can cause permanent disability with symptoms such as numbness or weakness in one or more limbs, partial or complete loss of vision, tremors and an unsteady gait.
(Reporting by Tan Ee Lyn)