Vitamin D, whether gained naturally with the help of sunshine or from a supplement, is widely seen as being beneficial if you have MS. Certainly, I have experienced a benefit from taking tablets on a daily basis.
Now, though, scientists are saying that sunscreen, that helps block the sun’s rays, can help suppress symptoms of the disease. At least, two ingredients of the sunscreen do the suppressing – and it was proved to work in mice.
Dr Hector DeLuca,, research team leader.
The ingredients are salate derivatives, which are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
University of Wisconsin, Madison, researchers’ study was published their study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences . It was titled “ Salate derivatives found in sunscreens block experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis in mice .”
Researchers noticed that ultraviolet light suppresses MS in mice and wondered if this could be why MS is not so prevalent in tropical areas.
The researchers decided to test if sunscreen would prevent ultraviolet light from suppressing MS in mice. The team picked six commercially available sunscreens, then exposed the mice to UV radiation.
Sunscreen surprise for researchers
After confirming previous findings, they observed that UV radiation decreased the severity of MS. But, they went on to find that even when the mice were not receiving ultraviolet light, some sunscreens still suppressed their MS for up to 30 days anyway.
The salate derivatives are homosalate and octisalate. Both are esters of salicylic acid, a common medication for acne, psoriasis, warts, and dandruff. The only side effect of homosalate and octisalate was temporary skin irritation.
Interestingly the various sunscreen’s ability to block the sun’s rays did not rekate to MS suppression. Indeed, some of the sunscreen brands did not suppress the disease at all.
Team leader Dr Hector F DeLuca, an emeritus professor in the university’s Department of Biochemistry, explained: “Salate derivatives are well-known inhibitors of the enzyme cyclooxygenase, or COX. Because COX-2 has been found in MS lesions, salate derivatives might improve MS by suppressing COX.
“Salates may be useful in stopping the progression of MS, and may provide new insight into mechanisms of controlling autoimmune disease,” he said.
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50shadesofsun.com is the personal website of Ian Franks, a Features Writer with Healthline , the fastest growing health information site. He enjoyed a successful career as a journalist, from reporter to editor in the print media. He gained a Journalist of the Year award in his native UK. Ian received a diagnosis of MS in 2002 and now lives in the south of Spain. He uses a wheelchair and advocates on mobility and accessibility issues.