572651 tn?1530999357

Diet, nutrition and MS

Hi all,
I got this today from a friend who is a chemistry PhD who specializes in lifesciences.  He tells me this nutritionist is ver knowledgeable about MS and this is what she recommends.  I'm investigating and thought I would check first with my best  sources - all of you........  what do you know/think?  Lulu

"Diet first:  the literature I've read shows that there may be some liver deficiency in MS, which goes hand-in-hand with elevated inflammation and the body's inability to utilize certain essential fatty acids.  I would eliminate packaged and refined foods, because white flours, refined sugars, hydrogenated fats and the rancid oils in those foods will promote inflammation and put the fatty acid balance out of whack.  Fresh, whole food, including ONLY whole grains (oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice, sprouted grain breads), alot of green leafy vegetables, fresh berries, beans, raw nuts and seeds (pumpkin seeds are good), wild caught fish (salmon, cod, tuna, sardines), and antibiotic-free poultry.  Generally red meat would be a no-no because of the levels of arachadonic acid (AA) which raise inflammation, but grass fed beef contains some gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), so a little is okay.  All green foods are detoxifying, so they should be eaten regularly.  There are also "green drinks" on the market; we use a product called "ProGreens" from Nutricology that is fabulous...

As for supplements, this is exactly what I would do:  A whole foods multi vitamin mineral complex (New Chapter is the best), 4000 IU of Carlson's D3 daily through the winter months, then reduce to 2000 as long as I'm getting regular sunshine, 2 Carlson cod liver oil caps along with 2 of their regular fish oil caps (these supply vits A, D, and omega-3's), 500 mg of Evening Primrose oil (GLA source, Solgar is good), 2-3 tablespoons of lecithin granules (I use Carlson) and a tablespoon of raw wheat germ added to whole grain cereal.  On days when salmon or another oily fish is eaten, the fish supplements can be skipped.

The point of all of this is to lower inflammation, and provide the essential fats and at soluble nutrients to support nerve function.  Now...there is a woman I know whose father with MS took 2 New Chapter products and began to see benefits after about 3 months.  One is Neurozyme (a critical extract herb formula) and the other Is Mental Clarity (a medicinal mushroom formula).  These products are formulated to support neurotransmissions, not only at the level of the brain, but also seem to support those at the level of the spinal cord.  My mom used them for quite a while and found that she actually regained some nerve functioning in her drop foot.

None of this is cheap, of course, even the food part (the ultimate irony as far as I'm concerned).  But if the budget isn't too much of a problem, this should produce some results."
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333672 tn?1273792789
Everything I have read says that immune system-boosting supplements are bad for MS.

Here is a quote from Dr. Alan Bowling, who was written a lot about MS and alternative medicine:

"MS is a disease that involves the immune system. It is generally thought that MS involves an immune system that is overactive in specific ways. For this reason, supplements that are known to stimulate the immune system may, theoretically, be harmful, especially in high doses or for extended periods of time."


I don't have time to find anything about this now, but as I understand it Copaxone and the interferons are immunomodulating drugs and not actual immunosuppressants so they shouldn't up your chances of getting an infection.

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572651 tn?1530999357
That's a good question - my first reaction is to tell you no. Copaxone is so different than the interfurons but I have to be honest and say I don't honestly know that answer for sure.  I'll start looking too or I may just call shared solutions - they seems to love to talk with any of us copaxone users and they certainly call me enough to check in.  :-)
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Avatar universal
Thanks for this post. I had just started researching info on diet and supplements but it has been so frustrating.  I would find one site that says to boost the immune system and others that say the immune system is  the problem so stay away from those products. Your info helped.

Also...since you have been taking copaxone,,,,do you feel you are at a higher risk for catching or getting over various bugs??? I cant see to find much info on the subject.

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572651 tn?1530999357
There was a spot this morning on the Today Show too reviewing the latest medical findings on Vitamin D and heart health - conclusion is we need more D!   - Lu
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Avatar universal
Thanks, Lulu, I agree with this in principle and try to eat as healthy as possible.  But just yesterday my daughter and I were talking about how expensive eating right can be.

I have long believed that the additives in our food cause many of the health problems seen today.  How can eating meat, eggs, etc which have growth harmones, and any number of other additives in them, be healthy?

I substitute meat lots of time with beans and we eat lots of green veggies.  We hope to have our own garden next year and to raise most of the food we eat.

For others that can't have their own gardens, there are many organic farms now that specialize in certain crops.  We have 3 in our area.  One is for chicken and beef, another has fruits and veggies, etc.  You can join these farms, it's like a co op, and buy food for your family for the year.  They ship the food to your home, each month.  

I believe the healthier we eat the healthier we'll be.  I've always been one to take herbals instead of OTC drugs.  Just a personal choice for me.

Thanks again for this great info.

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Avatar universal
I have been using this approach with Craig's MS for the past two years.  The only thing he cant do is become vegetarian. (no will power to do so)  But we limit red meat to that which is hormone free and only eat it once a week.  

Craig is on about 15 different supplements.  He said he would not make it through work if he didn't have them.  They are ones for brain function and fatigue as well as different herbs called "adaptogens" which help regulate the immune system.  New Chapter is one of my favorite brand of supplements, since they are in a "whole foods" form and are organic.  They also grow their own herbs in Vermont and Costa Rica.

The most recent book by Montel Williams discusses how he feels so much better eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables, and organic too.  He also takes many supplements.  This "whole foods" approach is supposedly the best dietary approach to chronic disease, though it is very expensive (at least in Delaware) and time consuming as far as food preparation.  

There is only one problem I have been wondering about.  If you reduce systemic inflammation in the body with this approach, then you can definitely avoid chronic degenerative diseases like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.

However, isn't the inflammation in MS isolated to the brain and spinal cord?  And if that is the case, how can things pass the blood brain barrier to reduce the inflammation in the brain and spinal fluid??

There are two more supplements I would add to the list:  Green Tea since it has been shown in Japan studies to enhance the growth of neurons, and it is great at reducing inflammation.  Also, carnosine.

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372680 tn?1228161610
Nice post!  We had a thread a long time ago about how diet affects symptoms.

I've been a vegetarian for ten years or so and I've found, personally, that overall I feel better and healthier.  My dude is also veggie and he says since he's been veggie, his allergies have gone away and he's sick less often, if ever.

I was actually vegan for a couple years, too, and it didn't make much of a difference from being vegetarian.

I've also recently toyed with a gluten-free diet because we think my dude is allergic, but I haven't really found any added benefit with that.

Macrobiotics are supposed to be awesome for everyone, regardless, and pomegranites are allegedly a miracle fruit.
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