People born in May are more likely to develop multiple sclerosis than those born at other times of year; those born in November have the lowest MS risk. It sounds a little astrological, and it turns out the link may be “in the stars,” as zodiac types say.
But it has nothing to do with the position of the moon or other planetary objects. Scientists suspect the birth month/MS link is related to the sun—and its effect on levels of vitamin D.
In a study from three British universities, researchers found babies born in May had 20% less vitamin D in their umbilical cords than November babies had. The May babies, however, had twice the a mount of autoreactive T-cells.
Autoreactive T-cells can attack the bodies own cells and trigger autoimmune conditions—like multiple sclerosis. And high autoreactive T-cell counts may be linked to low vitamin D.
Vitamin D is the only vitamin humans synthesize from sunshine, and it’s hard to get from dietary sources. Low sun exposure can lead to vitamin D deficiency, but getting enough sun can be hard for people in certain area or at certain times of year.
Countries such as Canada and the United Kingdom have higher MS rates than countries closest to the equator, according to CTV News Canada. And birth month has been linked to other immune conditions, as well, such as autism, Type 1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.