Multiple sclerosis or MS is a degenerative disease that provokes unpredictable attacks on the body’s nerves. As the nerves are damaged, muscle function, coordination, and vision deteriorate. Evidence suggests that changes in diet and lifestyle can help people with MS manage symptoms. A new theory going around holds that it is a lack of sunlight that may cause the disease. Investigators of this theory are not sure why sunlight matters in preventing MS: it may be the Vitamin D in sunshine or it may be exposure to other forms of light, such as ultraviolet radiation.
Here is what we know:
· MS is a “disease of latitudes” and is least common in tropical regions and most common in Northern regions with long, dark winters.
· Sunlight may matter while the baby is still in the womb; people born in April and May (after a winter pregnancy) are more likely to develop MS as adults that people born in October or November (after a summer pregnancy).
· People with sun damage to their skin are much less likely to develop MS than people with no sun damage.
These are just theories—but all of our medical knowledge started out as a theory. And for the sake of brevity, the theories presented here have been vastly simplified. But Google any of them and you’ll find scientists are talking about them!
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