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Old 04-25-2013, 08:39 AM
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Default Month of Birth Impacts Baby's Immune System

Its long been surmised that MS can be caused by a deficiency of Vitamin D.

Latest research points to a low maternal level of Vitamin D during pregnancy, caused by lack of sun exposure during Winter that can affect the baby's immune development as a possible cause. More reason to ensure adequate Vit D levels before pregnancy.


According to new research from the Queen Mary, University of London and the University of Oxford, vitamin D exposure in utero may have impacts on immune system development.

The research letter, published April 9, 2013, says that a number of studies looking at birth month say that when you're born may affect your risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS), a potentially debilitating disease that attacks the body's central nervous system. The article states that in the UK "around 100,000 people" have MS, and according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society "more than 2.1 million people are affected by MS worldwide.�

This study looked at samples of cord blood, or blood from a newborn's umbilical cord, from 50 babies born in May, a month when the mother may have been exposed to less sunlight during the winter months, and November, when pregnancy occurred over the summer, a time of more prevalent ultraviolet B rays which allow our bodies to make vitamin D.

Next the researchers analyzed the data to look not only for vitamin D levels, but for levels of autoreactive T-cells. T-cells are white blood cells that play a key role in the body's immune system searching for and destroying pathogens. However, sometimes these T-cells can become autoreactive and turn against the body itself, and can play a part in the formation of autoimmune diseases like MS, diabetes or even allergies.

According to researchers, the results were conclusive and "showed that the May babies had significantly lower levels of vitamin D (around 20 per cent lower than those born in November) and significantly higher levels (approximately double) of these autoreactive T-cells, compared to the sample of November babies."

Although a number of studies have sought to find out the connection between birth month and development of MS, researcher Dr. Sreeram Ramagopalan felt that this research supported a certain conclusiveness: 'By showing that month of birth has a measurable impact on in utero immune system development, this study provides a potential biological explanation for the widely observed 'month of birth' effect in MS." He added that "the correlation with vitamin D suggests this could be the driver of this effect." However, more long-term studies were suggested.

Month of Birth Impacts on Immune System Development. (2013, April 9). Retrieved from https://www.qmul.ac.uk/media/news/items/smd/95198.html

Disanto, Giulio, et al. 2013;70(4):527-528. Month of Birth and Thymic Output. JAMA Neurology. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2013.2116
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Old 04-25-2013, 04:09 PM
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Well, I know of several people with MS and they were born in early fall or summer. My mother had MS and was a September baby; her mom was a farmer's wife, spending a great deal of time out of doors.
While this study may be a good theory it only points out the many supposed causes of the disease or exposes the possibilities of why certain people might get.
Like so many diseases, we keep stabbing in the dark hoping to reveal an answer; we come up with lots of possibilities, giving us reason to suspect the cause may be as complex as the disease itself.
We do know that nutrition and specific diets help the disease to slow its progressive debilitation. I think there is more promise in studying nutritional methods of controlling it than new drugs from the experiences I have seen.
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