Drinking Milk During Pregnancy May Lower Baby's MS Risk

Pregnant Mother Drinking MilkA preliminary study suggested that mother’s who drank milk during pregnancy may help reduce their baby’s risk of developing multiple sclerosis as an adult. The preliminary study was done by researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston and will be presented at the 62nd Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology.

The preliminary study involved 35,794 nurses whose mothers answered a 2001 questionnaire concerning their experiences and diet during pregnancy with their nurse-daughter. Over the 16 year study period, 199 women developed multiple sclerosis. The researchers further found that the risk of MS was lower among women who were born from mothers with high dietary vitamin D intake during pregnancy.

According to Fariba Mirzaei, MD at the Harvard School of Public Health, "The risk of MS among daughters whose mothers consumed four glasses of milk per day was 56 percent 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 20 percent of vitamin D intake during pregnancy was 45 percent lower than daughters whose mothers were in the bottom 20 percent for vitamin D intake during pregnancy".

Dr. Mirzaei is aware of the growing evidence about the beneficial effects of vitamin D on MS. The study may suggest that the said effects may actually start when the child is still in the womb.

Source: American Academy of Neurology. "Drinking Milk During Pregnancy May Lower Baby’s Risk of Multiple Sclerosis." ScienceDaily 12 February 2010. 16 February 2010