Holistic Nutrition for MS
Multiple Sclerosis is a degenerative disease affecting the myelin sheath of nerves in the brain. Recent research has shown that the brains of people with MS shrink over time in the same way that the brains of people with Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, and Parkinson’s disease shrink. The one thing all of these degenerative diseases have in common is mitochondria that function poorly.
Mitochondria can best be described as “batteries” that manage the energy supply to cells. If you do not properly nourish these mitochondria cells begin to wither and die off. This is the root of degenerative disease. Muscles begin to shrink, the brain volume diminishes and other cells in your body become compromised.
Research has uncovered three nutrients that are essential to well-functioning mitochondria and those three nutrients are: Omega 3 fats, Creatine, and Coenzyme Q10 in the reduced variety, which is also the best-absorbed version. This type of Coenzyme Q10 has three times as much anti-oxidant as standard over the counter Coenzyme Q10.
Taking these nutrients in pill or liquid form has shown the ability to slow progression of the disease but further research shows some remarkable results when these same nutrients are derived directly from the foods a patient eats. For mitochondria to work at peak efficiency it requires an intake of B vitamins, sulphur and anti-oxidants.
There are also some foods that help the production of myelin and those include vitamin B1 (Thiamin), vitamin B9 (Folate), and B12 (Cobalamin), fish oil and iodine. The best natural diet that contains the maximum vitamins and anti-oxidants is a hunter-gatherer diet (eating the type of food a caveman would eat). This type of diet includes roots, seeds, nuts, oily fish, grass-fed meats, natural iodine from sea vegetables, and organ meat.
The diet was enhanced with 9 cups of non-starchy vegetables and berries that were divided into three groups: 3 cups of greens, 3 cups of sulphur-containing vegetables (kale, broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, garlic, cauliflower, onions, asparagus, chives, and mushrooms, among others), and 3 cups of colorful vegetables and berries. Starchy vegetables, including potatoes and rice, were not eaten unless all 9 cups of the other vegetables were eaten first.
This diet was researched and tried by a doctor who suffers from MS. After three months on this intensive holistic diet she was able to get out of her wheelchair and walk using a single cane. Feeling better, she then added exercise and other therapies that allowed her not only to slow, but to reverse some of the symptoms of the disease.
American diets are especially poor in nutrients and they do not generally provide the building blocks required to feed the mitochondria or to make or repair myelin. It is as important to remove certain foods from your diet as it is to include certain foods. Foods to remove from your diet include all refined or pre-packaged foods, and all omega 6 oils and fats. Omega 6 oils and fats are found in corn fed meat, corn oil, safflower and vegetable oils, soybean oil, margarines and fried foods.
Healthy fats are okay to include in diet. These include fish oils, flax seed oils and extra virgin olive and coconut oils. You should also remove all inflammatory foods including all sugar, high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, allergens, dairy, grains or legumes. Organic, antibiotic-free, free range eggs are recommended to be included in your diet if you can tolerate them because they contain choline which together with inositol is critical for the repair of the myelin sheath.