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Hidden Herpes Virus May Play Role in Multiple Sclerosis and Other Brain Disorders

New research shows that human herpesvirus 6 found in cells throughout the brain may play a role in multiple sclerosis (MS), according to Science Daily. It’s estimated more than 80 percent of people have been exposed to the virus — which also causes the childhood disease roseola — at some point in early childhood. Scientists said they need to research more to understand the virus’ connection to MS.

MS is a devastating, chronic, neurodegenerative disease of the nerves in your brain and spinal column, caused by a demyelization process. In MS, your immune system mistakenly attacks the myelin around your nerve fibers and disrupts the messages sent around your brain and spinal cord, leading to symptoms such as trouble balancing, muscle weakness, tremors, pain and fatigue. And as the featured study suggests, researchers have long been looking for a way to both treat and prevent MS.

Interestingly, researchers have found a partial answer in vitamin D, with evidence that it can help regenerate myelin. About a dozen studies have noted a strong link between MS and vitamin D deficiency, including lack of sun exposure. It is through sunlight exposure that your body is able to produce vitamin D. Fortunately, there’s no need to wait for further research to optimize your vitamin D levels, especially if you have a condition like MS.

While sunlight is the best way to get vitamin D, research by GrassrootsHealth suggests if you’re taking a supplement, adults need about 8,000 IUs per day to achieve a healthy vitamin D serum level of 40 ng/ml. If you do opt for a supplement, please remember you also need to boost your intake of vitamin K2 through food and/or a supplement.
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