Sunlight helps in multiple sclerosis

Sunlight helps in multiple sclerosis

Dr. Karen Zouffle | 14.05.2021

Sunlight has a positive effect on many patients with multiple sclerosis. It seems that this is caused not only by excess vitamin D, which is produced in the skin through UV radiation, but also by beta-interferon, an endogenous messenger that is already used to treat the disease. is.

It has been known for nearly 60 years that the risk of multiple sclerosis is higher in those who live in areas with less UV radiation and in which vitamin D levels are lower. Researchers at the University of Munster have confirmed this through a comprehensive evaluation of data from about 2,000 patients from 21 regions of Germany: the further south the patient’s residence was, the lower the severity of their multiple sclerosis, while their vitamin D level Was higher.

However, this does not apply to people with sensitive skin who make a definitive change in a gene for melanocortin receptor 1 (MC1R) – this type occurs in people with red hair and is known as a risk factor for multiple sclerosis. goes. UV radiation also had a negative effect on them, as imaging studies found more specific damage, which they lived further south.

Even patients treated with beta interferon did not benefit from more sunlight. Researchers therefore suspect that this signal path cannot be further accelerated by sunlight.

Despite the positive effects of sunlight, researchers recommend caution and remind you of the necessary sun protection. However, they consider the sun half an hour a day to be particularly useful for people with multiple sclerosis.

they: 10.1073 / pn.2018457118

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