DIETARY AND LIFESTYLE SUGGESTIONS FOR MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS
It may be best, before I mention dietary and lifestyle changes concerning MS, to give a little background on the disorder and discoveries that have been made.
The blood brain barrier is made up of tightly bound capillary cells within the central nervous system. This prevents most substances from passing out of the capillaries into the central nervous system tissue. Certain proteins – such a collagen and fibrin make up the “glue” to hold these cells together. There are certain cells in the immune system which can dissolve the extracellular “glue”. This is a beneficial process when allowing white blood cells to access an area of infection. However, when these cells release their chemicals in the capillaries of the central nervous system, there results a breakdown of the blood brain barrier, leading to an MS lesion. An example of one such “glue dissolving” process is the metalloproteinases (MMP’s). These MMP’s are not readily active, but must be converted to an active form by other enzymes in order to act on the collagen or fibronectin. It has been found that flavonoids have an affinity for joining themselves to enzymes. If they were to join with the MMP’s or their activators, they would be able to block this process – preserving the blood brain barrier and preventing an MS lesion. Inhibiting the activity of these enzymes or activators may offer a therapeutic approach in the development of inflammatory demyelinating diseases. Studies have found that flavonoids may also become part of the cellular matrix – or at least adhere to it. They have receptor sites which tend to grab on to enzymes which would otherwise attack the matrix. The flavonoids become “sacrificial lambs” so to speak – maintaining the integrity of the matrix. Flavonoids are potent anti-oxidants. Anthocyanosides have been found to neutralize free radicals so quickly that they don’t have time to act on the collagen, thus – again – protecting the blood brain barrier from damage and preventing MS lesions. In addition to having anti-degenerative actions, anthocyanosides also have been found to have a strong anti-inflammatory action. This action would enable flavonoids to not only reduce the number of attacks on the myelin, but also reduce the severity, since much of the damage caused to nerve cells is due to inflammation. In other words, flavonoids have been found to not only strengthen the blood brain barrier, but simultaneously reduce inflammation. Oligomeric proanthocyanidins are better anti-oxidants than anthocyanosides, but anthocyanosides are better anti-inflammatory agents. The best therapy might be to use flavonoids high in anthocyanosides (blueberries, cherries, grapes, or bilberry) and OPCs (pycnogenol or pine bark).
When the immune system is stimulated or overactivated, white blood cells called T4 lymphocytes are produced. During an attack, the T4 lymphs attack the myelin sheath, causing inflammation followed by scar tissue. The blood brain barrier is adept at keeping the T4 lymphs away from the myelin sheath. Therefore, theoretically, no matter how stimulated the immune system might be, if the blood brain barrier is intact, the lymphocytes will not be able to attack the myelin. Studies have shown that the problem may very well be a weakened blood brain barrier, not an immune system that is sensitized to the myelin. In light of this, therapy could be aimed at protecting the blood brain barrier and healing it, and not necessarily to lower the immune system. This is important, since lowering the immune system creates the risk of contracting other diseases that the immune system would normally keep at bay. Strengthening the blood brain barrier is not a cure. People with sensitized, overactive immune systems may always be AT RISK of an MS attack. However, if the blood brain barrier is kept healthy and effective, the attacks should be minimal or none. Research has found that degradation of the blood brain barrier may be caused by nutritional deficiencies or a viral attack. This can be compounded many times over by the addition of stress to the system. This could be physical, emotional, or mental stress. Stress is one of the primary causes of oxidation in the body.
In addition to stress and a compromised blood brain barrier, studies have found a strain of herpes virus – HHV6 – may play a role in the development of MS. The virus infects most people in the first few years of life and patients with the most common form of MS(relapsing/remitting) have shown an increased immune response to it. The herpes virus is known to infect nerve cells and HHV6 proteins are expressed in MS lesions. Herpes also tends to re-activate. The same factors associated with MS exacerbations have been linked to herpes virus reactivation (stress, poor diet, allergies).
Another pathway on the road to the initiation of MS concerns the thyroid gland. Clinical studies have shown that men and women suffering from multiple sclerosis may have low serum T3 concentrations coexisting with normal T4 levels, which may indicate a changed peripheral conversion pathway of the thyroid hormones. Thyroid dysfunction is common in people with MS – both hyper- and hypo-thyroidism. Antithyroid antibodies have also been found in people with MS. Many immune disorders are related to underlying thyroid disease. There are controversies concerning the use of steroids in the reduction of MS attacks. In some cases, steroids have been shown to lower thyroid hormone production and have a depressive effect on the pituitary-hypothalmic system as well as adrenal cortex insufficiency...in a sense, antagonizing the multiple sclerosis. Interferon treatment has been associated with thyroid disease. It can induce antithyroid antibodies and thyroiditis. It would greatly benefit you to ask your doctor to run a thyroid panel on you. This would include TSH, Free T3, Free T4, TRH, Reverse T3, and thyroid antibody test. It would also be a good idea to check your basal body temperature. Hypothermia is a known and medically accepted symptom of hypothyroidism. This is done using a basal thermometer(purchased at a drug store - preferrably mercury or another liquid). Shake it down before bed and set if on the night stand. Set your alarm for 10 minutes earlier than usual. When your alarm goes off, without moving too much, place the thermometer in your underarm area. Hold it tightly under your arm for 10 minutes. Take the reading 3 consecutive mornings. A temperature falling below 97.5 degrees denotes hypothyroidism. A low temperature accompanied by a normal (.3-3.0) TSH level may indicate faulty T4-T3 conversion. In that case, T3 therapy may be recommended. If the TSH is high ( above 5.5), then therapy using the natural thyroid extract (Armour thyroid) is usually best.
The keys to combating MS are halting the activation of the immune system and healing and strengthening the gut, the blood brain barrier, and the immune system. With that in mind, nutrition and lifestyle changes follow:
- Watch what you eat and when; it is best to avoid hypoglycemic situations. Don’t skip meals.
- Eliminate sugar, gluten grains(wheat, rye, barley, oats), beans, corn, dairy, yeast and saturated fats from red meat or dark poultry from you diet.Animal fats- especially those from DAIRY – have been most closely linked to MS. These foods are known to have the greatest potential to cause autoimmune reactions. It would be in your own best interest to try to follow your specific blood type/metabolic type diet. (please see links)
- Refrain from ingesting all vegetable oils; excess Omega 6 fats are known to produce inflammatory-like conditions.
- Control stress and anxiety. Practice deep, diaphragmatic breathing. Stress has been found to be a major contributor of MS – along with leaky gut syndrome.
- Diaphragmatic breathing is very easy to learn... in fact, it is the natural way to breathe. If you will observe a baby breathing, you will see abdomen moving - not the chest.
- While laying down, place your hand on your abdomen just below your belly button. Inhale deeply while pushing out your abdomen. After your abdomen is extended as far as possible, continue filling your lungs, expanding your chest. As you inhale, you should notice your hand going "up".
- When you exhale, flatten your abdomen (your hand will move "down"). Exhale slowly and completely.
- Repeat this about ten times. A good reminder is to set the hourly chime on your watch and when it goes off, do five to ten diaphragmatic breaths. Soon, it will all become natural.
- This type of breathing is beneficial whether you have MS or not. It is beneficial in panic attacks, anxiety, stress, trauma.......
- Another benefit of diaphragmatic breathing is increased oxygenation of the body. Breathing in this manner extends the diaphragm down, pulling oxygen into the lower lobes of the lungs. This is then circulated throughout the bloodstream.
- In addition to diaphragmatic breathing, one of the best therapies for stress, traumatic events, panic, etc. would be the Emotional Freedom Technique. In many cases of MS, there is nearly always a precipitating traumatic emotional event that causes the immune system to crash. Issues related to this event need to be addressed by using an effective energy psychology tool like the Emotional Freedom Technique, but only with the help of an experienced practitioner. Once you have learned the technique, however, it is an invaluable tool to be used in any situation - whether that be stress or illness.
- Engage in regular – not excessive – exercise. Don’t do vigorous exercise if you’re not feeling well. Stretching and light resistance training (weight lifting) is beneficial.
- If NOT blood type O, you might try St. John’s Wort. This is known to be tonic for the nerves; physiologically and emotionally. It is important, however, to avoid high tyramine foods if you use St. John's Wort; mixing the two could cause a dramatic change in blood pressure.
- Monitor your intake of yeast products; there may be a link between MS and candidiasis. Treatments to reduce candida have been found to be very beneficial.
- Blueberries, grapes(purple), cherries, or red raspberries (1/4 – 1/2 lb daily), in addition to supplements of combined bilberry, grapeseed extract, and pycnogenol are recommended. They are sources of the above mentioned flavonoids that are known to strengthen the blood brain barrier, which may be damaged by an over active immune system. Flavonoids act as very powerful antioxidants, block enzyme actions, and bind with the blood brain barrier. Recent research has found that the whole red raspberry, containing ellagic acid (ellagitannins) is the strongest antioxidant to date. It is known to slow the growth of cancer cells or initiate apoptosis, prevent the destruction of the P53 gene by cancer cells, protect DNA, promote wound healing, reduce heart disease, and reduce or reverse chemically induced liver fibrosis. According to the research, it is best to eat the raspberries (Meeker brand was studied) in the whole form, pureed in a blender or food processor so the seeds are crushed, releasing the ellagic acid. Consistent studies find that the breakdown of the blood brain barrier is an invariable and obligatory event in the development of new lesions in relapsing-remitting or secondary progressive MS. It is important to mention that you may experience nausea, vomiting, or other negative effects when starting to use antioxidants (bioflavonoids). Symptoms often get worse before better. This may be a signal that the antioxidants are getting the free radicals out of the system. Anthocyanosides, proanthocyanidins, and procyanidolic oligomers.(PCO’s) all belong to the chemical family of flavonoids. These 3 chemicals have been found effective in strengthening the blood brain barrier. Anthocyanaocides are known to diminish the permeability of the blood brain barrier by affecting the brain capillaries.
- Try to eat fish (salmon, cod, mackeral, tuna) at least 3 times a week or take supplemental Omega 3 fatty acids. (see below)
- Eliminate ALL aspartame (Equal, Nutrasweet, Spoonful). Current research states that it causes MS-like symptoms and can cause auto immune reactions which lead to MS. It has been found that in some people diagnosed with MS – symptoms disappear after getting aspartame out the their diet.
- Aspartame changes the brain's chemistry. It makes you crave carbohydrates and gain weight. This is very bad for diabetics. In fact, it could trigger clinical diabetes. Other diseases associated with aspartame are – brain tumors and other cancers, Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, mental retardation, fibromyalgia, lymphoma, Grave’s disease, chronic fatigue, systemic lupus, Epstein-Barr, and Parkinson’s. Aspartame is a molecule composed of aspartic acid, phenylalanine, and methanol. Methanol is wood alcohol – which converts to formaldehyde and formic acid (the poison in the sting of fire ants) in the gut. Formaldehyde is a neurotoxin and class A arcinogen. Phenylalanine is neurotoxic when unaccompanied by the other amino acids and also blocks serotonin production. Aspartic acid causes brain lesions and neuro-endocrine disorders.
- Try to avoid any foods which cause an allergic reaction. Allergenic foods, in most cases lead to “leaky gut syndrome”, which activates the immune system to attack the foreign proteins. It is necessary to prevent intact food proteins from entering circulation. This is the cause of most autoimmune diseases. Other causes of increased intestinal permeability are – alcohol consumption, infection, parasites, trauma, and usage of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin.
- It is imperative to maintain bowel regularity with MS. This can be accomplished by a high intake of fiber, high fluid intake, regular bowel routine, and moderate exercise.
- Sunlight is an excellent source of Vitamin D, however, heat may trigger symptoms. It is always best to try and limit your sun exposure to 15-20 minutes of early morning or late afternoon sun and do not use any sunblocks or sunglasses. For the full benefit of sunlight, the eyes need to be unshaded and the skin unblocked. Vitamin D is formed by the exposure of the cholesterol on the skin to the sun.
- Research has shown that vaccinations may cause immune reactions and may very well affect the blood brain barrier and cause central nervous system inflammation. In many instances, the vaccination provides the final stress on an already embattled immune system. In light of this information, IT IS NOT A GOOD IDEA TO GET A FLU VACCINATION.
- Heavy metal toxicity, especially from mercury amalgam fillings, has been studied extensively. There is an epidemiological correlation between MS and dental caries. When silver amalgam fillings are exposed to gingival action and oxidation, inorganic mercury may be converted to an organic form which acts as a neurotoxin.
- If you smoke – stop. Smoking results in free-radical production. Free radicals destroy myelin that has been compromised.
- Chlorine and fluoride are toxins that the body should never be exposed to, especially not one that is already medically compromised. Don’t drink it or bathe in it.
- Essential oils that have been found to be beneficial in MS are : rosemary, sandalwood, and geranium. They have been found to improve the quality of sleep, strengthen muscles and relieve muscle tension or spasms, decrease pain, boost the immune system, and stimulate circulation and memory. If used, it is recommended that you mix them in equal amounts and store in dark bottle. When ready to use as massage oil, dilute 5-10 drops of the mix with 1teaspoon of a carrier oil( grapeseed would be best). It has been found to be best to use the oils at night by massaging into the tops and bottoms of the feet, the tops and palms of the hands and between the shoulder blades.
- It is ALWAYS a very good idea to know your blood type. This is important in determining beneficial foods and toxic foods.
- According to the Townsend Letter for Doctors (July,1997), the application of extremely low intensity, pulsed EMF in an attempt to "energize" the pineal gland was successful in creating marked symptom improvement in 60% to 70% of MS patients in the study.
Studies have found evidence suggesting that there is a connection between multiple sclerosis and dysfunction of the pineal gland. During relapses, MS patients have abnormally low nighttime blood levels of melatonin, a hormone produced by the pineal gland. Brain scans of MS patients show that all have calcification of the pineal gland. It is known that MS patients have low levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is a precursor of melatonin; it is also known that the symptoms of MS correlate with those of serotonin deficiency: carbohydrate craving, fatigue, headache, sleep disorders, spasticity, poor bladder control, cognitive deficits, migraines, and a high rate of depression and suicide. Nutritional or biochemical attempts to enhance serotonin synthesis in MS patients have not worked well. But the pineal gland is very sensitive to EMF. The treatment was most effective at the early stages of the disease. Please refer to my "links" section for more information on pulsed electromagnetic field therapy.
When considering vitamins, herbs, and supplements, it is best to remember that you can't (or shouldn't) use everything at once. Work with a knowledgable practitioner and devise two to three different regimens. Decide what you would like to focus on first, and utilize that regimen for at least a period of 6 months. It is never beneficial to utilize the same supplemental regimen for an indefinite period of time. The body tends to become resistant to it, and you either have to continually take more of the supplements to get the same results or, the body just doesn’t recognize it at all and it becomes ineffective. Try to change your regimen every 6 months or so, even if it means going back to what you took a year ago. It may also be a good idea to only take your supplements and herbs Monday through Friday, and let your system reset itself on the weekend. That way, the body will freshly accept them on Monday. It will also give you a break, and makes it a little more financially feasible. When first starting a protocol, however, it is always best to take the supplements everyday for at least a week or two. That will get all the supplements into your system readily.
Nutrition and lifestyle changes can be incorporated gradually or as quickly as you wish. My recommendation would be - "the quicker the better".
Women with MS need to make sure their hormones are in balance. Excess estrogen or ERT (estrogen replacement therapy) has been found to cause MS (auto-immune ) symptoms or the disease itself. Women with MS who have had a hysterectomy or are going through menopause may have an increase in, or more severe, symptoms. This is due to the fact that studies have found that a failure to ovulate may be linked to adrenal insufficiency, hypothyroidism, auto-immune disorders or poly-glandular failure, an increased susceptibility to osteoporosis and increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Natural progesterone cream is known to balance out estrogen dominance. Progesterone therapy has also been found to be beneficial for men with MS. An imbalance in hormones happens very frequently in anyone with MS. This is due to the exposure to the extremely strong environmental estrogens (xenoestrogens) and an imbalance of other hormones in the body. Hormone imbalance has a cascading effect in the body. The additional benefit of using progesterone cream is with the risk of hormonal cancers in the body. In men it is the risk of prostate cancer. Progesterone balances estrogen dominance, increases the activity of the thyroid hormone, and is known to build bone density.
Following is a list of beneficial vitamins and supplements you may want to include:
- A BALANCED MULTIPLE VITAMIN/MINERAL – This is a good base for any nutritional protocol. A multi containing at least 200mcg. of selenium would be best.
- CO Q10 – 100MG.has been recommended, however, anything is better than nothing. Research has found that the most bioavailable sources of CoQ10 are the "Q-gel" and "Q-Absorb" form. This is known to strengthen the immune system without activating it. It is a very strong antioxidant and known to be beneficial for circulation and tissue oxygenation. Studies have found that the most likely offender in MS may be connected to the circulatory system in the brain or spinal cord.
- FISH OIL - this has been found to be beneficial in immune modulation. People with MS have been found to be deficient in Omega 3. Fish oil has been shown to reduce the levels of several pro-inflammatory cytokines as well as prostaglandin E2 and leukotriene B4. Cod liver oil is known to be rich in vitamin D3, which research has shown inhibits MS by reducing excessive amounts of nitric oxide. The benefits of fish oil are sustained by reducing Omega 6 fatty acids (vegetable oils) and increasing Omega 3 (fish oils). Supplementing with fish oil containing EPA and DHA could result in improved remyelination. Research has also shown that increased omega-3 intake has shown a trend towards a reduced rate and severity of exacerbations. There are several good sources of quality fish oil... Carlson is one, as is Nordic Naturals.
- LECITHIN – is found to protect the cells, and is beneficial in protecting the blood brain barrier.
- B-COMPLEX – The B complex is needed to counter stress. Studies have found that it helps to maintain healthy nerves.
It may be beneficial to supplement with 5-10mg.of DHEA, if you are over 40. DHEA shows benefit in decreasing pain, improving immune function, boosting stress tolerance, and improving body mobility and sleep. Studies have shown MS to be a Th1-mediated inflammatory demyelinating disease. The addition of DHEA has been found to decrease the T cell proliferation and secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines and nitric oxide. It has potent anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have found that almost 100% of the people with autoimmune disorders have a deficiency in DHEA. Most people have shown clinical improvement with small replacement doses.
- In addition to the B Complex, studies show that B12 (methylcobalamin) as a 5000mcg. sublingual lozenge will help to balance circadian rhythms, retore normal body function, and decrease stress. It may also help prevent nerve damage by maintaining the protective myelin sheath.
- Detoxifying herbs are known to keep the liver and other organs toned and functioning. These herbs include: dandelion root, red clover, pau d’arco, milk thistle, burdock, and yellow dock. It may prove beneficial to supplement them once a month to help the liver detoxify.
- ARABINOGALACTIN (larch) is an herb known to be highly beneficial for the immune system. It is also high in fiber, therefore, it is also very beneficial for intestinal function.
- GINGKO BILOBA - is being investigated for it's effects on symptoms of neurological disease. It contains potent antioxidants called flavoglycosides that have been shown to have neuroprotective effects in animal models of spinal cord injury. It also has terpene-lactones that block a substance known as platelet activitating factor, which is important in regulating blood vessel function as well as the mediating inflammation and the sticking of inflammatory cells to blood vessels. The study was supported by the National MS Society, the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Nancy Davis Center Without Walls.
- CURCUMIN - is known to be a very strong anti-inflammatory. Preliminary studies at Vanderbilt University have found that curcumin, a compound that is found in the spice turmeric – may block the progression of multiple sclerosis. The researchers found that people of Asian decent eating more spicy foods with yellow compounds have very rare reports of MS.
- CHLOROPHYLL –is a very good purifier,high in magnesium, which may be of benefit to the nerves.
- CALCIUM/MAGNESIUM - are known to keep bones and nerves strong and pliable. They are also found to be necessary for the body’s production of D3 from sunlight. Studies state that the optimum ratio of calcium to magnesium is 2:1. In a state of dis-ease, dosages of 2000mg. to 1000mg. are recommended.
- ZINC – is known to reduce the stress hormone, cortisol. It is very important that you NOT supplement more than 30mg to 50mg. Daily zinc intake needs to stay below 100mg. or, rather than enhance the immune system, it may depress it.
- VITAMIN D3 – (cholecalciferol) - studies have found that D3 may be a natural inhibitor of the autoimmune mediated processes that underlie MS and a selective immune system regulator. It is also known to aid in calcium absorption. There is evidence that MS patients have vitamin D deficiency. MS has shown a striking geographic distribution; increases with increasing latitude in both hemispheres. Daily exposure to sunlight or full spectrum light has been found to have beneficial effects on the immune system and the metabolism of fatty acids in the retina of the eye—which could prevent MS related eye disorders. It has also been found in clinical studies that D3 decreases excessive nitric oxide levels which have been found to be associated with the pro-inflammatory conditions of MS.
- PROBIOTICS (acidophilus/bifidus) – are known to be very beneficial in detoxification; they counter the bad bacteria. Detoxification is very important since allergic reactions of many kinds promote toxic build-up in the body and trigger autoimmune and inflammatory reactions.
- BALANCED E COMPLEX – this is a combination of the total E complex – tocotrienols and tocopherols. Current research has found that the best form to use is from palm oil, which is higher in the delta tocotrienol. Studies have also found that it is more beneficial to take the total E complex rather than simply the tocopherols or tocotrienols. Synergistically, the complex forms a very strong anti-oxidant; protecting against free radical-mediated degenerative diseases. The gamma tocopherols have been found to have an affinity to the brain. Studies have also shown that the E-complex works in combination with ester-C to form an even stronger anti-oxidant. Jarrow makes a very good complex.
- L-GLUTAMINE – is found to be beneficial in healing the intestinal lining, thus preventing or halting “leaky gut” syndrome, which plays a large part in autoimmune diseases. It has been determined that glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the body. There is an increased demand during stress associated with exercise, illness or trauma. Supplementation supports protein synthesis and glycogen production which may increase strength and endurance. Glutamine has also been found to convert to GABA-like neuro- transmitters.
- FREE-FORM AMINO ACID COMPLEX – The free-form amino acids are the most bioavailable. They are known to increase muscle strength and help maintain good absorption of nutrients needed for proper brain function. The powdered form is recommended.
- DIGESTIVE ENZYME COMPLEX – aids in digestion, allowing the larger protein molecules to be digested. Improperly or undigested food permeates the intestinal wall and is attacked as a foreign substance possibly initiating an inflammatory response by the immune system against the body itself. This out-of-control immune response is thought to be one of the causes of MS.
- APPLE PECTIN OR OTHER FIBERS – are beneficial in alleviating intestinal toxicity, and in healing. Apple pectin, specifically, has been found to bind to heavy metals and help eliminate them from the body. Research has found that people with MS may have high levels of mercury in the body.
- MYELIN-MS – is a Jarrow product found to exhibit the same basic healing properties as the drug Copaxone. The theory behind the research is --- The body’s own immune system (enzymes and macrophages) is attacking the myelin sheath. Therefore, taking bovine myelin is a type of anti-adhesion therapy. The body’s immune system will attack the bovine myelin instead of it’s own myelin – thereby lessening the occurrence of attacks and the degeneration. This is the same theory as with people who are blood type O; they are known to genetically have hyperactive immune systems. Their immune systems attack the sugar on their red blood cells. This sugar, fucose, is what makes up their blood type; in other words, it is their blood type antigen. To decrease the incidence of auto-immune disorders, people with blood type O often supplement with fucus vesiculosis (bladderwrack). That way the immune system may attack the fucus instead of the body’s own blood type antigen – averting disorders such as arthritis, ulcers,lupus, and other autoimmune disorders.
- ALPHA LIPOIC ACID – studies have shown that ALA is a non-specific scavenger of Reactive Oxygen Species and may decreases the destruction of myelin by white blood cells(macrophages). Free radicals play a large role in myelin destruction. ALA is known to be very beneficial to the liver and has been found to actually regenerate both liver and nerve tissue. Studies have found ALA to be anti-inflammatory. HOWEVER, further studies have indicated that ALA may decrease the conversion of T4 to T3, thereby creating hypothyroid conditions. With that information in mind, it may be be best if Alpha Lipoic Acid is not used - especially in this case.
- MELATONIN – is known to be beneficial in sleep related disorders. The activity of the pineal gland has been implicated in the pathogenesis and clinical course of MS. Melatonin levels are relevant to the duration of the illness. The most often recommended dosages are 2-3 mg. of sustained release.
- GABA – has physiological importance and clinical relevance in several diseases. It is involved in neuro transmission of the central nervous system and is beneficial with moods, feelings of general well-being, and calming. GABA is known to decrease neuron activity and inhibit nerve cells from over-firing. GABA, in addition to inositol, is known to prevent anxiety and stress-related messages from reaching the motor centers of the brain. Stress has been found to initiate exacerbations of MS.
- 5HTP – is known to promote beneficial sleep and increase the production of serotonin. It has been found that there are decreased levels of serotonin in people with MS. 5HTP is known to be beneficial for insomnia, weight loss, and depression.
- RED YEAST RICE – Clinical studies have shown that mononuclear cell infiltration into the central nervous system and induction of inflammatory cytokines and excessive increase in nitric oxide via an inducible isoform of nitric oxide synthase have been implicated in the disease pathogenesis and progression of MS. Studies have been on lovastatin which has been found to stop that induction. Red yeast rice is a natural
lovastatin-like supplement, with fewer to no side effects. The recommended dosage is 600mg. two times a day.
- NATURAL PROGESTERONE CREAM – Clinical studies have found elevated estradiol levels and normal testosterone levels in men with MS. It was found that estrogen dysregulated T-and B-cell balance, suppressing antigen-
specific T-cell dependent immune reactions while enhancing B-cell activities. MRI studies found people with high estrogen to progesterone ratio had a greater number of lesions than those with a low ratio. This may influence disease activity in MS. Androgens and progesterones were found to possibly protect from autoimmune disease. Environmental estrogens (xenoestrogens) are present in pesticides, chemicals, meats, dairy, plastics. They are extremely strong estrogens and have been found to be a key factor in autoimmune diseases. It has also been found that estrogen dominance can block the action of the thyroid
hormones, or alter the conversion of T4 to T3, the active thyroid hormone. In men, estrogen dominance also greatly increases the risk of prostate cancer.
One last piece of information I would like to give you concerning MS is this:
According to a Mayo Clinic study and the research involved, doctors and patients alike are now being urged to hold off a few years before starting interferon drug therapy, with immunomodulatory medications. Researchers said this is because their results indicate that the longer the duration of the disease and the lower the level of disability, the more likely patients are to remain stable and not get worse. It was found that 17% of all U.S. MS patients had beningMS. Patients with benign MS are defined as having had the disease for 10 years or more with a low level of disability. Mayo Clinic experts said that while this study confirms past data, it seriously challenges many doctors who do not believe MS can be benign. It is the common course of action to begin interferon and immunomodulatory medications as soon as possible, for as long as possible, instead of observing the natural course of the disease. This is wonderful news because, as you all know, interferon drugs, like those prescribed for MS, can damage brain functions, lower quality of life, and even cause death.
Please email me if you have any questions.
ALL OF THE PREVIOUS INFORMATION IS FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE OR TREAT ILLNESS. THE INFORMATION HAS BEEN DOCUMENTED FROM NUMEROUS SOURCES, AMONG THEM:
- Probiotics – Nature’s Internal Healers – Trenev
- Nutritional Healing- Balch
- Eat Right 4 Your Type and Live Right 4 Your Type – D’Adamo
- Enzyme Therapy – Cichoke
- The Real Vitamin Book – Lieberman
- Nutritional Influences on Illness – Werbach
- CRC Handbook for Medicinal Herbs
- German Commission E Monographs
- Living Well with Hypothyroidism – Shoman
- Thriving well With Your Autoimmune Disorder – Ravicz
- Honest Herbal – Tyler
- The Thyroid Solution – Arem
- Overcoming Thyroid Disorders – Brownstein
- New Holistic Herbal – Hoffman
- Encyclopedia for Natural Medicine – Pizzorno
- Disease Prevention and Treatment – Life Extension Foundation
- Adrenal Fatigue – Wilson
- PDR for Nutritional Supplements
- PDR for Herbal Medicine
- Encyclopedia of Natural Healing – Null
- Alternative Medicine
- Know Your Fats – Enig
- Hormone Deception – Berkman
Health Science Institute
Real Health Newsletter
Nutrition and Health Newsletter
Herb Research Foundation