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The effect of vitamin D on Multiple Sclerosis - Research Paper Example

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Multiple sclerosis (MS) refers to a condition whereby the immune system of an individual’s body affects the nerves present in the spinal cord or the brain. This is because the nerves distribute messages to diverse body parts, an indication that MS may affect different body…
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The effect of vitamin D on Multiple Sclerosis
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Vitamin D and Multiple Sclerosis Vitamin D and Multiple Sclerosis Multiple sclerosis (MS) refers to a condition whereby the immune system of an individual’s body affects the nerves present in the spinal cord or the brain. This is because the nerves distribute messages to diverse body parts, an indication that MS may affect different body systems. A person with MS encounters challenges when speaking, talking, walking, thinking, or swallowing. It is not yet clear as to what leads to the development of multiple sclerosis, although vitamin D is believed to play a major role. Researchers agree that vitamin D is essential in terms of regulating the body’s immune system (Acton, 2013).
Vitamin D is vital in improving several symptoms associated with MS. However, it is unclear as to whether consuming supplements having vitamin D can prevent one from developing multiple sclerosis or treat the symptoms after the illness affects a person. Certain genes also link with the development of MS. However, since researchers portray differences with regard to their understanding pertaining to multiple sclerosis, it is difficult to know if vitamin D can help is treating or preventing different instances of MS (Robinson, 2015). For example, in case an individual develops multiple sclerosis and want to consume vitamin D, it may not harm cause harm or worsen the symptoms. Nonetheless, people may be unlikely to witness any changes to the symptoms they develop. They should refrain from taking vitamin D in line with other types of medications. Therefore, an individual should consult a doctor before consuming supplements, such as those having vitamin D (Watson, 2013).
Vitamin D may prevent a person from developing MS or minimize its severity. It plays a crucial role with respect to helping an individual develop healthy bones. Nevertheless, researchers are looking for certain ways in which they can reveal the role that vitamin D plays in diverse body parts. However, although vitamin D may boost the nervous and immune systems in an individual’s body, the manner in which it works it unclear (Swanson, 2015).
Certain cells in the nervous and immune systems of a person have vitamin D receptors. The receptors prevail on a cell’s surface whose role is to receive signals from chemicals. Once the cells merge with receptors, chemical signals direct cells to behave in certain ways, die or divide. The cells also regulate the amount of vitamin D present in them. For instance, after the immune systems of a body are subjected to vitamin D using laboratory experiments, they tend to swell. This reveals that vitamin D influences the immune system of an individual, preventing it from attacking other body cells. Hence, vitamin D is capable of preventing a person from developing MS. It also influences remission of MS by minimizing relapses number and their severity (Robinson, 2015).
When people expose their skin to the sun, they manage to attain vitamin D. For instance, once children are subjected to the sun more often, their chances of developing MS are minimal unlike in the case of adults. Thus, if you grow up in a region that receives a lot of sun, then you may be less likely to develop MS compared to individuals who grow up in regions that lack sufficient sunlight. Furthermore, you are more likely to influence the manner in which your immune system works in diverse ways as opposed to production of vitamin D. Thus, for those individuals having higher levels of vitamin D, their chances of developing MS are minimal (Robinson, 2015).
References
Acton, A. (2013). Multiple Sclerosis: New Insights for the Healthcare Professional. New York: Scholarly Editions.
Robinson, K. M. (2015). Can Vitamin D Help MS? Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/multiple-sclerosis/features/vitamin-d-multiple-sclerosis
Swanson, J. W. (2015). Vitamin D and MS: Is there any connection? Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/vitamin-d-and-ms/expert-answers/faq-20058258
Watson, R. R. (2013). Handbook of Vitamin D in Human Health: Prevention, Treatment and Toxicity. New York: Springer. Read More
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