Can People Prevent Multiple Sclerosis with Sunlight

For the last few decades we have talked about little else other than why you should stay away from sunlight. We realize just how real skin cancer is and the risks associated with it so we do everything we can think to do to keep it from happening to us. We choose the highest SPF sunscreens we are able to get and then slather on layers and layers of it. We wear huge hats. Even during the hottest conditions of the year we make ourselves put on long sleeves and pants. We tend to stick to the shade–some individuals may also carry parasols and umbrellas just to make sure they have exactly no contact with the sun. Now we are beginning to understand that sunlight can really help us. Can direct sunlight actually help you?

A new analysis has found that folks who allow themselves some sun exposure are less likely to develop MS than those who try to minimize their sun exposure. At the onset, the study was a lot more about Vitamin D and it’s influences on Multiple Sclerosis. Eventually it became apparent, however, that it was the Vitamin D our bodies create as a response to exposure to the sun’s rays that seems to be at the root of the issue.

It has been recognized for a long time that the sunlight and Vitamin D can be used to hinder the abnormal immune system workings that are thought to contribute to MS. This study, on the other hand, deals chiefly with the effects of the sun’s rays on the people who are just starting to experience the very earliest symptoms of the disease. The real objective is to see how sunlight and Vitamin D may affect the symptoms that are now known as “precursors” to the actual disease symptoms.

Unfortunately there are not a massive amount of methods to really quantify the hypothesis of the study. The purpose of the study is to figure out if sunlight can actually prevent the disease. Unfortunately, the researchers learned, the only way to that is to monitor people over the course of their lives. This is only way that it is possible to assess and fully grasp the levels of Vitamin D that are present in a person’s blood before the precursors of the disease show up. The way it stands today, and has stood (widely recognized) for a long time is that people who live in warm and sunny climates and who get more exposure to direct natural light are less likely to develop MS than those who live in dark or cold climates and get very little exposure to the sun.

The fact that the risk of developing skin cancer rises proportionally to the amount of time you spend in direct sunlight (without protection) is also a problem. So, in an attempt to keep one particular condition from setting in, you’ll probably be inadvertently causing another. Of course, when it gets found quickly, skin cancer is very treatable and can even be cured. This is not true for MS.

So what should you do: chance skin cancer or risk MS? Talk to the medical doctor to figure out if this is an excellent plan. Your health care provider will find out if you are in danger for the disease (and how much) by checking out your genetics, medical history and current health. From here your doctor should be able to help you decide the best course of action.

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