Sunlight and vitamin d3 MS

ln to-days paper is an article about how sunlight reduces the risk of skin allergies and protects against bacterial infections.

And previous research published in the British Medical Journal shows children and adolescents exposed to high amounts of sunlight, particularly during the winter, had a decreased risk of multiple sclerosis in later life.

These findings correlate with the fact that MS is almost non-existent along the equator, while cases rise in countries to the north or south. Scientists believe lack of vitamin D accounts for this.



More rain to-day - no sign of sunlight - where is the hot summer that was forecast earlier in the year. We went to a wedding on Saturday. My daughter has known the bride since they were 2yrs old. To get to the little village church we had to get over two cattle-grids and park in a field - so 4x4’s a must. The groom is a army doctor - so he had several of his colleagues in dress uniform - with a guard of honour - drawn swords. The reception was held in a clearing in the woods near the brides family - this is in our village. Giant tepees [or tipi] were set up with rush matting on the floor and a solid dance-floor and stage for the band. To get there we had to cross two fields and walk a winding path through the woods - all lit up with lights suspended from the trees in jam jars. Union jacks hanging from the trees. In the tipi was a fire - and we all sat at pine tables and benches covered with sheepskins/goatskins. On the tables were wildflowers in jam jars - with specially printed labels with the bride and grooms name on tied with old lace. Later in the evening they had a Hog Roast.

Luckilly, the rain kept off - but the ground was so sodden all the guests [bridesmaids as well] had to wear ‘WELLIES’. lt was so well thought out - and we all had a wonderful time. The true British spirit in abundance. The mud was seeping up through the matting. Local people with tractors had helped set it all up for the tipi hire company and the caterers and helped with dismantling it all afterwards. Sunday was a good dry day thankfully.

My daughter was ‘going out’ with a Major in the Coldstream Guards -he was badly injured in Afghanistan. The first medic to reach him - and save his life - turned out to be the Groom - then fiance of my daughters best friend the bride.

How about that for a coincedence. They eventually met again in our village pub.

l know l am rambling on - its the lack of vitamin d. l shall not be getting my dose of sunlight today - shall take a extra capsule.


Hi, yes but interesting to remember that Australia has quite high incidence of MS… so there’s more to it. Seems like people who’s ancestors came from northern Europe are at higher risk, so that even if they are raised in hot country they are still at higher risk.

Also apparently there is very low incidence in China, although some parts of China are very cold and don’t have much sunlight.

It seems very complicated… however saying all that, YES I do take my Vit D and sit in sunlight for short periods whenever possible (which makes it even more depressing when looking out the window today… more like October than June!)

Pat x

I believe we may have an malabsorption syndrome because either our genes have mutated or our ancestors were infected with a mutant gene - making us all related!

Either way, my vit.d3 levels were very low for the end of summer 51.9. Im now aiming for 125 nmol because I also now suffer osteoporosis, probably as a result of low levels of vit.d3.

Keep taking the pills.

I loved hearing about the lovely wedding and how you all battled with the weather, thus making the day more memorable. What a very unusual and coincidental time eh. Imagine telling the grandkiddies in years to come about bridesmaids in wellies etc.

take care,



Hi Frances, I loved the wedding story. As for the vit d3, it’s certainly interesting. I don’t personally think it’s the whole story, the reason I may be like this though, is that when I was little I lived in a hot country close to the equator and I still went on to develop ms. Interestingly enough when I mentioned this to neuro when I was diagnosed and I suggested that my time in Africa might have caused my ms, he said that no if anything my time in Africa should have protected me. But it was a long time ago and we moved back to Scotland after a few years. Cheryl:-)

They think the reason why ms is so prevalent in Australia is that sunbathing is considered a no-no and everyone wears high factor sunscreen and cover up. Just half an hour a day is all we need [stripped off]. ln the middle east -its because they wear all those robes/burkhas. lts not recommended to lie in the sun all day and roast - just 30 mins daily is enough.


l missed out something in my ‘wellie wedding’ story - the wedding cake - was a mountain of beautiful cheese - all beautifully decorated. l couldn’t wait to ‘google’ the wedding cake cheese - and the ‘wedding tipis’. Also - one of the wedding presents was a double space-hopper - two people can sit - one behind the other in tandem. You can imagine how hilarious is looked in its pretty wrapping paper. The bride and groom bounced all around the dance floor on it. Such fun!!

l am organising a wedding reception for friends who are going to renew their wedding vows - in August - so hopefully kinder weather. The bride has been battling stomach cancer for the last year - prognosis not too good - but she is determined to have a lovely wedding day. l just hope her hair starts growing back soon. l have organised a vintage Rolls Royce to take her to the church and back. l have a near neighbour with two lovely vintage cars - and he so kindly said yes when l asked him if he was prepared to do this for us. AND l have ordered two of these double space hoppers for the guests to have a good laugh - racing up and down the garden.



Women tend to wear makeup with SPF b(sun protection factor) and incidence of women getting MS is rising. Some people believe these two facts are connected

Obviously you can take Vit D3 pills



Hi loved the story!! Not tryin to put a spanner in the works but I have always loved the sun. As a child I was described as " ferral", no shoes, very thin clothin cos I just loved bein out. I never wear sunscreen & when we are fortunate enough to have sunshine im in it!!! Im lucky not to burn & tan extremely well, as does my Dad, the relevence being he has Parkinsons & I have MS. I am sure there is a link to vit D but I am at a loss to how I have it if this is the main factor? I am looking into the Genetics of my family at mo, we all seem to have some abnormal patterns on my Dads side. Let you know if anything interestin comes up!!! Tracey

A ps!! My ansestors are all welsh, they were known for " keeping it in the family" so to speak!!! If they had come off the mountains & mixed my family would not be sufferin the consequences!!! Tracey xx

Hello Traceydc46,

By rights I should not have MS either, Up to the age of 22 I led an outdoor life, got a suntan every year, ate a healthy diet and led a reasonably healthy lifestyle. My first relapse at the age of 25, diagnosaed when 40 now 57 with SPMS.

People who move from tropics to temperate zone can get it as well.

No one really knows the cause of MS

Another ps!!! I am VERY welsh & proud of it!!! T

CityAssays Birmingham NHS path lab offer postal 25(OH)D testing for £25 UK.

I’m sure I don’t have to explain that MS is an inflammatory condition. If you want your body to be best able to resolve inflammation then 25(OH)D level needs to be at least 125nmol/l (as that is not only the natural level human DNA evolved to function best with but also the level at which it exerts it’s most potent anti inflammatory action.

For most people it will take 1000iu/daily Vitamin D3 for EACH 25lbs you weigh to get 25(OH)D in that range. Human skin would make 10,000iu ~20,000iu given the chance of FULL BODY NON BURNING MIDDAY SUMMER SUN exposure. But who gets the chance for that? In practice you need to use an EFFECTIVE amount of supplement for 3~6 months and then get a 25(OH)D blood spot see how your body responds. Bigvits or Amazon have people selling 5000iu for around £12.50~£15 for a years supply. There is very little point in messing with prescription vitamin D3 the amounts are generally too low to be effective and often the form (ergocalciferol) that is least effective and has more side effects.

I think people have to apply a little common sense with Vitamin D3 it is ONE of several strategies our body uses to fight inflammation. Sure our DNA is set to produce vitamin D on our skin from dawn to dusk given UVB (sun) exposure but from dusk to dawn it’s also set to produce another anti inflammatory agent MELATONIN. We also have to remember that when humans evolved not only did they live naked outdoor lives and didn’t have light at night to stop melatonin secretion they also ONLY ate free range organic meat and veggies much higher in omega 3 than modern foods (omega 3 is another anti inflammatory agent. All the foods humans evolved with had higher magnesium status than current vegetables/grains. Modern farming has concentrated on higher yields and faster maturation so plants spend less time in soil and accumulate less magnesium now than even when we were kids. Magnesium is important because it’s required to operate the switch that enables calcidiol (the circulating form of vitamin d) to convert to CALCITRIOL (the active hormonal form)

So not only do you have to strive to raise 25(OH)D to 125nmol/l to maximize it’s anti-inflammatory action, you also have to ensure you MORE THAN MEET the rda for magnesium (most people don’t get current RDA so need to take slightly more to make up for the years of insufficiency) but also you need to improve MELATONIN secretion during the evening and through the night AND make sure you are getting plenty of omega 3 (fish oil) as well as reducing all your intakes of omega 6 oils (soy, corn, sunflower, safflower, cottonseed etc)

While it’s true that low vitamin d levels are associated with higher levels of disability and faster progression of the condition it’s also important to understand that if you want vitamin D to be effective not only have you to raise 25(OH)D to effective levlels but also understand the role of magnesium as a cofactor for vit d, and that the omega 3 DHA is a Vitamin D receptor ligand (it actively assists the action of vit d3) and that just about all the actions of vitamin D3 are matched by Melatonin so the BRIGHT LIGHT exposure that creates vitamin D at Midday is ALSO resetting your circadian rhythm so you are better able to make melatonin and sleep well and repair your body as you sleep through the night. If you wake up and put on the light at night then that’s your melatonin production stopped or seriously reduced.

[quote=“patrick.b”] I should not have MS either, Up to the age of 22 I led an outdoor life, got a suntan every year, ate a healthy diet and led a reasonably healthy lifestyle. [/quote] first food sources of Vitamin D can never be given much credibility. At best we could get 500iu from food. Compared to living naked outdoors that is NOTHING. 10,000~20,000iu daily is what our system evolved to produce daily.

You may well have led an outdoor life but you didn’t do that naked. At best only 10% of you skin surface was exposed and it was only during the summer.

If you test the AVERAGE UK adult 25(OH)D levels are between 30nmol/l in winter to 75 nmol/l at the end of summer.

If we live naked outdoor lives our levels would always be above 125nmol/l.

The advantage that having a pale skin gave that enabled us to survive away from the equator was the extra capacity to make sufficient vitamin D to store, so we had reserves to last through the winter. You can’t measure vitamin D in tissue under 100nmol/l only at above 125~150nmol/l do we have reasonable stored reserves of D3.

Most people require 1000iu/daily vitamin D3 for each 25lbs they weigh to get vitamin D up to the level required to fight inflammation and ensure a reasonable immune function. Unless you were getting that kind of intake throughout your childhood you cannot expect your immune system to function optimally. And the same applies today.

l find the GP’s reluctant to do a vitamin d3 test - and they work on a much lower level then recent research has discovered.

So follow Ted’s advice and contact the CityAssays - You can pay by credit/debit card £25 and they will post you the kit. lt is just a pin-prick - so easy to do.