Spain tests vitamin D to treat Friedreich’s Ataxia


The vitamin D It’s one of the micronutrients with greater functions for the organism. Having good levels of this vitamin has been associated during the pandemic of Covid-19 to a better prognosis in case of contagion by virus.

In addition, it is proven that vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins for bone health, since among other things it contributes to the better absorption of calcium. This vitamin has also been linked to the prevention of diabetes and even some types of cancer.

Knowing all the benefits of vitamin D in all its aspects, a group of researchers in Spain will carry out a clinical trial with calcitriol, the active form of vitamin D, to treat Friedreich’s Ataxia, a rare disease.

The study will be carried out by the Ataxias Unit of the Josep Trueta Hospital in Girona and the Santa Caterina Hospital of the Martí i Julià Hospital Park in Salt (Girona) and the Girona Institute for Biomedical Research.

Friedreich’s Ataxia disease is a rare disease characterized by the destruction of certain nerve cells in the spinal cord, brain, and nerves that control muscle movements in the arms and legs.

Thus, the Biochemistry of Oxidative Stress research group has succeeded in validating the use of calcitriol (vitamin D) to increase the production of frataxin. Something that has led to the realization of a clinical trial in relation to Friedreich’s Ataxia.

What is Friedrich’s Ataxia?

Friedreich’s Ataxia is a weird illness that damages the nervous system. Specifically, it affects the spinal cord and the nerves that regulate the movements of the muscles of the legs and arms. As its name suggests, the main symptom is ataxia, which is difficulty coordinating movements.

vitamin D
vitamin D

Some symptoms that usually appear between the ages of five and fifteen:

  • Muscular weakness.
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Trouble walking
  • Involuntary movements in the eyes.
  • Scoliosis.
  • Palpitations

After 15 to 20 years from the first symptom, people with this disease tend to need a wheelchair. Currently there is no cure for this disease and the different treatments are based on medicine, surgery, physical therapy or surgery.

Therefore, Spanish researchers intend to find vitamin D an effective tool as a treatment for Friedriech’s Ataxia; a very complicated disease for the person who develops it.

Vitamin D saves lives

There are many experts who say that having adequate levels of this vitamin helps save lives. It is a fat-soluble vitamin that we can add to our body through the consumption of certain foods; such as fatty fish, avocados, mushrooms, egg yolks, or fortified cereals.

However, the main source of obtaining vitamin D is the ultraviolet rays of the sun. 90% of the vitamin D that we have in the body is thanks to the exposure of the skin to the sun’s rays. For its part, the remaining 10% comes from food.

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