Study: Exercise Not Effective In Reducing MS Risk

feet runningSome scientists believe that multiple sclerosis risk can be reduced or even prevented by regular physical activity. But a recent finding suggests that regular exercise is not effective as a preventative measure for developing the said disease. The results are published in the journal Neurology.

There are a number of risk factors that are associated with multiple sclerosis, including certain infections, race, and even climate. One of those risk factors that got some attention included the level of exercise and its relationship with multiple sclerosis. It is a common belief that higher levels of physical activity may reduce the risk of MS. But the argument is still up for debate as current findings are contradictory and sometimes also unclear. So a team of scientists from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston wanted to investigate this matter once and for all.

The researchers looked into the data taken from more than 193,000 women who took part in the Nurses’ Health Study and the Nurses’ Health Study II. The health data that was collected started way back in 1976 and with the participants followed up for a period of 20 years. The participants were instructed to answer questionnaires regarding their current levels of physical activity as well as their activity levels when they were in their younger years. Over the 20-year period of the study, 341 women developed MS. When the scientists collected the data, they identified how many hours of exercise each participant engaged in per week as well as the type of exercise they did. The team also considered other factors such as age, smoking, ethnicity, place of residence when they were younger, BMI during their teenage years as well as vitamin D intake.

After the researchers analyzed the collected data, the findings indicated that exercise is not in any way associated with the development of MS among the participants. The findings were contrary to what the researchers were expecting. While exercise may provide some benefit to people suffering from MS, the recent findings suggest that exercise or any level of physical activity is not related to any reduction in MS risk.

Source: Medical News Today

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