THURSDAY, July 28 (HealthDay News) -- Higher milk and vitamin D consumption during pregnancy is associated with a reduced risk of adult-onset multiple sclerosis (MS) in offspring, according to a study published online July 22 in the Annals of Neurology.
Fariba Mirzaei, M.D., M.P.H., Sc.D., from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues investigated the association between maternal vitamin D and milk intake during pregnancy with the risk of adult-onset MS in the offspring. Data for maternal milk intake, maternal dietary vitamin D intake, and predicted maternal serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) levels during pregnancy for 35,794 mothers of participants in the Nurses' Health Study II in 2001 were collected through questionnaires.
The investigators found that 199 nurses in the study developed MS. The relative risk of adult-onset MS was significantly lower among nurses whose mothers had high prenatal milk or vitamin D consumption. The multivariate adjusted rate ratio (RR) of MS was 0.62 for the nurses whose mothers drank two to three glasses of milk per day, compared to those whose mothers drank less than three glasses per month. Nurses whose mothers were in the highest quintile of vitamin D intake had an RR of 0.57 compared with those in the lowest quintile. There was an inverse association between the predicted maternal 25(OH)D levels and the daughters' MS risk (RR, 0.59 for comparing extreme quintiles).
"Higher maternal milk and vitamin D intake during pregnancy may be associated with a lower risk of developing MS in offspring," the authors write.