01
Mar

Can You Reduce Multiple Sclerosis with Sunlight

We’ve invested the past few decades preaching about how important it is to stay out of the sun. We’ve realized exactly how real a risk skin cancer can be and are doing almost everything we can think of to prevent it from happening. We put on a lot of layers of the largest SPF sunscreens that we can buy. We fit large old floppy hats on our heads. We wear long pants along with sleeves even through the hottest months of the year. We make an effort to stick to the low light areas-some people have even taken to carrying parasols around with them to keep the sun from ever making contact with their skin. Now we are beginning to appreciate that sunlight can in fact help us. Can you truly be helped by the sunshine?

There is a new study that shows people who let themselves get some exposure to direct sunshine aren’t as prone to come down with MS as people who take steps to minimize sunlight contact on skin. Originally the analysis was to see how Vitamin D influenced the indications of Multiple Sclerosis. It didn’t take long for them to realize that it is the Vitamin D our bodies make after exposure to the sun’s rays that is at the center of the issue.

We’ve known for a very long time that the sun’s rays and Vitamin D can impede the way the immune system plays a role in MS. This specific study, though, is focused on how the sun’s rays affects the people who are starting to experience the very earliest of MS symptoms. This study is trying to figure out the consequences of Vitamin D and the sun’s rays on the precursory symptoms of the disease.

Unfortunately, there are not all that many ways to actually quantify the study’s hypothesis. The purpose of the study is to determine whether sunlight can actually prevent the disease. Sadly, the only real way to know if this is true is to monitor a person over his or her entire life. This is just about the only way to seriously evaluate the levels of Vitamin D that are already present in a person’s blood before the precursors to MS start to become apparent. The way it stands these days, and has stood (widely recognized) for years is that people who live in warm and sunny climates and who get more exposure to direct sunshine are less likely to develop MS than those who live in dark or cold climates and get very little exposure to the sun.

There is also the incredibly significant dilemma of the fact that increased amounts of exposure to the sun increase your risk of getting skin cancer. So, in an attempt to keep one condition from setting in, you could be inadvertently causing another. Of course, if you ever catch skin cancer early on enough you are much more likely to cure it. MS still has no cure.

So should you receive more sunshine to avoid MS from setting in? Ask your doctor if this is an excellent idea. Your physician can evaluate your current health status, your health background and even your genetics to determine if you are even at risk for the disease in the first place. From here your physician can help you determine the best course of action.