Study findings from researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston have found that pregnant women who drink plenty of milk may be protecting their child from developing multiple sclerosis (MS) as an adult.
Previous studies have suggested that vitamin D, found in fortified milk, may lower the risk of developing MS. Now, researchers shown that it's possible this protective benefit could begin while a baby is still developing in the womb.
The study involved more than 35,000 female nurses whose mothers answered questions about their diet habits during pregnancy. Researchers found that women born to mothers who had the highest intake of vitamin D had a much lower risk of developing MS as an adult.
In fact, researchers found that the risk of developing MS among daughters whose mothers consumed four glasses of milk per day was less than half of daughters whose mothers consumed less than three glasses of milk per month. What's more, researchers also found that the risk of developing MS among daughters whose mothers were in the top 20% of vitamin D intake during pregnancy was 45% lower than daughters whose mothers consumed the least amount of vitamin D.
Fortified milk, and fatty fish such as salmon and mackerel as well as exposure to sunlight are the most important sources of vitamin D.
MS can cause loss of balance, extreme fatigue and impaired speech. According to the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, Canadians have one of the highest rates of MS in the world, and women are three times more likely to get the disease than men.
Researchers are due to present their findings in April at the American Academy of Neurology's 62nd Annual Meeting in Toronto.
All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.