Background: Multiple sclerosis (MS), a disease of the central nervous system (CNS), is
associated with damage to the myelin sheath of neurons. It is demonstrated that vitamin D deficiency
plays an important role in the development of the disease. Binding of vitamin D to its specific
nuclear receptors is a way to exert its function.
Objective: Possible correlation between the vitamin D receptor (VDR) gene and MS was evaluated
in the Azeri population of Iran.
Methods: Different genotypes of the Bsml site were determined by using the PCR-RFLP method in
148 MS patients and 220 non-relative healthy controls.
Results: In MS patients, genotype bb was significantly higher than the healthy controls (p<0.05).
Additionally, most subjects of the MS group had been insufficiently exposed to sunlight before the
age of 15 (p<0.001). Our findings indicated that the red meat intake in MS patients was significantly
higher than the healthy controls (p<0.001). In addition, the healthy controls had appropriate dieting
behaviors in comparison to MS patients (excessive intake of some foods) (p=0.0001).
Conclusion: In conclusion, genotype BB and sufficient exposure to sunlight before the age of 15
were the protective factors against MS. Although, excessive consumption of red meat and inappropriate
dieting behaviors were predisposing factors to MS disease.