Cookie policy: This site uses cookies (small files stored on your computer) to simplify and improve your experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information please take a look at our terms and conditions. Some parts of the site may not work properly if you choose not to accept cookies.


Subscribe or Register

Existing user? Login

Degenerative neurological disorders

Vitamin D levels at birth linked to MS risk in later life

Researchers found an inverse relationship between vitamin D levels in dried blood spots up to seven days after birth and the risk of developing MS in later life. 

It has been suggested that low vitamin D levels during pregnancy increase the baby’s risk of multiple sclerosis (MS) in later life, but studies have provided conflicting results. 

In research published in Neurology[1] (online, 30 November 2016), a team used Danish data to match 521 patients with MS to 972 controls of the same sex and date of birth.

The researchers found an inverse relationship between levels of vitamin D in dried blood spots taken five to seven days after birth and the risk of developing MS later in life — every 25nmol/L increase was associated with a 30% lower likelihood of the disease.

The team concludes that children born with low levels of vitamin D therefore appear to have a higher risk of developing MS but further research is needed to explore if increasing vitamin D levels has a protective effect.

Citation: Clinical Pharmacist DOI: 10.1211/CP.2016.20202102

Readers' comments (1)

  • A great article, but vitamin D may be only one the protectors against MS. It has been known for decades that MS is associated with sunlight deprivation. In equatorial areas where the sun almost always shines, the risk of contracting MS is virtually zero, whereas in areas of little sun the risk is highest. And it is not just due to vitamin D. Recent research has shown sun exposure decreases MS risk totally independent of vitamin D. Here are a few more scientifically documented benefits of sun exposure:
    •As sun exposure in the U.S. has DECREASED by 90% during the last century, melanoma incidence has INCREASED BY 3,000%.
    •A 20-year Swedish study shows that sun avoidance is as bad for the health as cigarette smoking.
    •A Spanish study shows that women who seek the sun have one-eleventh the hip fracture risk as those who avoid sun.
    •Men who work outdoors have half the risk of melanoma as those who work indoors.
    •Women who totally avoid the sun have 10-times the risk of breast cancer as those who embrace the sun.
    •Women who sunbathe regularly have half the risk of death during a 20-year period compared to those who stay indoors.
    •Sun exposure increases nitric oxide production, which leads to a decrease in heart attack risk.
    •Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, is essential to human survival, and sun exposure is the only natural way to obtain it. Sunbathing can produce 20,000 units of vitamin D in 20 minutes of whole-body exposure.
    •Sun exposure dramatically improves mood through the production of serotonin and endorphin.
    •Beyond vitamin D, sun exposure also stimulates the production of endorphin, nitric oxide and BDNF, all of which are vital to human health.
    •Regular sun exposure also reduces high blood pressure, heart disease, psoriasis and multiple sclerosis (MS).
    •As sunscreen use has increased dramatically, melanoma has INCREASED exponentially.
    For the scientific references and articles for the above statements, visit

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press

Search an extensive range of the world’s most trusted resources

Powered by MedicinesComplete
  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Supplementary images

  • Feet of newborn baby

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.