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Drink milk to reduce your baby's MS danger

Mothers-to-be can reduce their babies' risk of developing multiple sclerosis in later life by drinking milk, new research has claimed.

The link emerged from a study of 35,794 female nurses whose mothers provided information about their diet during pregnancy.

Of the nurses taking part, 199 developed multiple sclerosis (MS) over a 16-year period.

The researchers found that the risk of MS was lower among women born to mothers who drank a lot of milk while pregnant.

A similar trend was also evident with vitamin D.



Evidence

Mothers who had a high vitamin D intake during pregnancy also gave birth to daughters with a reduced risk of MS.

Dr Fariba Mirzaei, who led the US-based study, said: "The risk of MS among daughters whose mothers consumed four glasses of milk per day was 56pc lower than daughters whose mothers consumed less than three glasses of milk per month.

"We also found the risk of MS among daughters whose mothers were in the top 20pc of vitamin D intake during pregnancy was 45pc lower than daughters whose mothers were in the bottom 20pc for vitamin D intake during pregnancy.

"There is growing evidence that vitamin D has an effect on MS. The results of this study suggest that this effect may begin in the womb."

Exposure to sunlight, oily fish such as salmon and mackerel and fortified milk are key sources of vitamin D.

The research, which was carried out by Boston University, was presented at the American Academy of Neurology's annual meeting in Toronto, Canada.

hnews@herald.ie


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