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Sunlight helps treat multiple sclerosis

Sunlight helps treat multiple sclerosis

Dr. Karen Zoffel | 14.05.2021

Sunlight has a positive effect on many MS patients. This appears to be due not only to an excess of vitamin D, which is produced in the skin through UV rays, but also to beta-interferons, an internal messenger substance that is already used to treat disease.

It has been known for about 60 years that the risk of developing multiple sclerosis is greater in people who live in areas with little UV rays and who have low levels of vitamin D. Researchers at the University of Munster confirmed this through extensive assessments of data from nearly 2,000 patients from 21 regions in Germany: the further south the patient lived, the lower the severity of their multiple sclerosis, while the higher their vitamin D level. Top.

However, this did not apply to people with sensitive skin who carry a specific change in the melanocortin receptor 1 (MC1R) gene – this variant occurs in people with red hair and is known to be a risk factor for developing multiple sclerosis. UV rays seem to have a negative effect on them, because imaging studies have found damage more typical of the southerners they live in.

Even patients treated with beta-interferons did not benefit from more sunlight. So researchers suspect that this signal pathway could not be further condensed by sunlight.

Despite the positive effects of sunlight, researchers advise caution and remind you of the necessary protection from the sun’s rays. However, they consider that half an hour of sun exposure per day is especially beneficial for people with multiple sclerosis.

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