Objective: Vitamin D may have a protective role in the etiology of multiple sclerosis (MS), but the effect of gestational vitamin D on adult onset MS has not been studied.
Methods: In 2001, 35,794 mothers of participants of the Nurses' Health Study II completed a questionnaire inquiring about their experiences and diet during pregnancy with their nurse daughters. We studied the association of maternal milk intake, maternal dietary vitamin D intake, and predicted maternal serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) during pregnancy and their daughters' risk of developing MS.
Results: MS was diagnosed in 199 women. The relative risk of MS was lower among women born to mothers with high milk or vitamin D intake during pregnancy. The multivariate adjusted rate ratio (RR) of MS was 0.62 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.40-0.95; p trend = 0.001) for nurses whose mothers consumed 2 to 3 glasses of milk per day compared with those whose mothers consumed <3 glasses per month, and 0.57 (95% CI, 0.35-0.91; p trend = 0.002) for nurses with mothers in the highest quintile of dietary vitamin D intake compared with those in the lowest. The predicted 25(OH)D level in the pregnant mothers was also inversely associated with the risk of MS in their daughters. Comparing extreme quintiles, the adjusted RR was 0.59; (95% CI, 0.37-0.92; p trend = 0.002).
Interpretation: Higher maternal milk and vitamin D intake during pregnancy may be associated with a lower risk of developing MS in offspring.
Copyright © 2011 American Neurological Association.