While research has been done before there has never been conclusive or even strong evidence to suggest a lack of Vitamin D in neonatal babies could possibly lead to MS, or Multiple Sclerosis, later in their life. Multiple Sclerosis is when the Immune System attacks the myelin that covers nerve fibers and causes communication problems between your brain and the rest of your body. MS is a very debilitating disease often leading to loss of motor skills later in life because of the constant pain that comes from the attack on the myelin during their life. Luckily the American Academy of Neurology, or the AAN, has began to delve further into the research regarding neonatal babies and the chances of getting MS later in life.
Objectives of Research:
Aiming to use past research to find the direct association between low-levels of Vitamin D and the increased risk of MS later in life.
The AAN used samples from the Danish National Biobank in a match-case control study by using dried blood spots samples from newborn babies that has been going on since April, 30th 1981. This put the sample size at 972 people born since April 30th, 1981 with 521 of them having MS let the scientist compare the vitamin D levels and compare the rate at which they got MS. In the research they found that newborns with Vitamin D levels less than 30 nanomoles per liter, or nmol/L, are to be considered born with deficient levels of Vitamin D. Levels between 31 and 49 nmol/L are to be considered born with insufficient levels of Vitamin D and everything over 50 nmol/L are to be considered born with sufficient levels of Vitamin D. There was 136 people with MS and 193 people without MS in the bottom group contrasting the top group which had 89 people with MS and 198 people without MS.
Right off the bat we can say that people belonging to the top group were 47% less likely to have MS than those in the bottom group. However it must also be stated that these numbers do not mean that increased Vitamin D levels is equal to reduced levels of MS later in life. However this also helps because there is a shortage of Vitamin D in pregnant woman and this might help them get their levels up to reduce the possibilities of MS later in life. Sources that should be used for Vitamin D is the mothers diet which can be found in fishes such as Salmon, Vitamin D supplements, and obviously the Sun. However contrasting that the researchers also said that the levels of Vitamin D should not be too low or too high but in the recommended range.
Limitations of study:
Even stated in the study we see that only dried blood spots samples were only available for 67% of people born with MS during the time frame. Also the vitamin D levels were based on one measurement, the study participants were 30 years or younger providing only information of early onset MS and not taking into account older people. Thirdly the population of Denmark itself is predominantly white which means that this finding might not apply to other populations of more diversity. Finally they also stated that Vitamin D levels cannot exclude the apparent beneficial effect could be found through other factors that develop later in life in which they would throw out the entire research because Maternal Vitamin D supplementation would not decrease the risk of getting MS later in life.