A new study alleges that drinking milk throughout pregnancy could aid in decreasing their infant’s likelihood of contracting multiple sclerosis (MS) as an adult.

The study included around 35,794 nurses whose mothers filled up a survey in 2001 about their experiences and diet throughout pregnancy with their nurse-daughter. Of the nurses examined, around 199 women contracted MS during the 16-year study duration. Study authors discovered that the threat of MS seemed to be lower among women born to mothers with elevated milk or nutritional vitamin D consumption during pregnancy.

Fariba Mirzaei, MD, with the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, commented, “The risk of MS among daughters whose mothers consumed four glasses of milk per day was 56 percent lower than daughters whose mothers consumed less than three glasses of milk per month. We also found the risk of MS among daughters whose mothers were in the top 20 percent of vitamin D intake during pregnancy was 45 percent lower than daughters whose mothers were in the bottom 20 percent for vitamin D intake during pregnancy. There is growing evidence that that vitamin D has an effect on MS. The results of this study suggest that this effect may begin in the womb.”

Apparently, fortified milk, fatty fish like salmon and exposure to sunlight appeared to be the most significant basis of vitamin D.

The study will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 62nd Annual Meeting in Toronto.