Multiple sclerosis or MS is an autoimmune disease that involves the destruction of myelin, a material that covers nerves and is needed for the nervous system to function normally.
This condition causes electrical short circuits among the nerves and triggers symptoms such as double vision, trembling of hands, loss of coordination, and pins-and-needles sensations.
Causes of MS
The main cause of MS is still unknown, but research suggests that it may be a disorder of the immune system. It is theorized that in MS, the body’s immune components attack myelin because they mistake it as foreign material. Some say that a virus may have caused them to behave abnormally and attack normal body parts.
Toxins from the environment such as pesticides, chemicals, and heavy metals may disturb the processes happening in the body and ultimately lead to nerve malfunction. As evidence, those with MS were discovered to have mercury levels in the blood which are seven times higher than in healthy individuals.
Researchers also observed that malnutrition often comes before the development of MS. It seems that there’s a link between an improper diet or poor absorption of nutrients and MS.
The Importance of the sun, vitamins and healthy fats
Statistics show that MS is more common in Western countries, particularly those with a high consumption of fatty foods and liquor. Unhealthy substances such as alcohol, cholesterol, and saturated fats interfere with nutrition and cause damages to the body. These also produce substances that aggravate inflammation.
In contrast, people in Asian countries have lower incidences of MS. This may have something to do with them eating less saturated fat and consuming more seafood, fruit oils, and seeds, which are high in good fats that inhibit inflammatory responses.
Recent studies suggest that there may be a connection between MS and low levels of certain nutrients, specifically vitamins B and D. In some lab studies, people with MS were tested and found to have small amounts of these nutrients in their blood and cerebrospinal fluid. When these individuals were given vitamin B and D supplements, they experienced some improvements in their health status.
Another clue pointing to the vitamin D-MS link is that people living in regions further away from the equator are more prone to MS. This may be explained by them receiving lesser amounts of sunlight, which produces vitamin D.
Although the cure for MS has not been invented yet, the symptoms may be lessened by medications that help control inflammation and immune responses. However, this medication suppresses the immune system and makes you sick, too.
MS and nutrition as a treatment
Dietary intervention may help slow or stop the progression of MS especially if it’s just starting.
My husband was diagnosed with MS almost 10 years ago. Gradually we changed our lifestyle because we believed, and still believe, many of our diseases can be cured through eating the right kind of food.
He hasn’t had a flare-up for more than 4 years now and is off his interferon injections for more than a year without any issues.
And he is not the only one who was able to reverse all symptoms and live a happy, healthy life.
Caution: MS comes in many forms and gradations, so when planning to take any kind of diet for MS or get off your medication, keep close contact with your specialist. We are very lucky to have found one that supports the power of food and believes that all people with MS would benefit from a healthy lifestyle packed with fresh whole mainly plant-based foods and regular exercise.
These are some of the nutrients that may alleviate MS symptoms
Vitamin B Complex – There are many kinds of vitamin B. In general, they help the immune system function properly and maintain the health of nerves.
Vitamin B6 – A deficiency of vitamin B6 may cause MS in certain kinds of people. This vitamin promotes blood cell production and likewise supports the proper functioning of the immune system and nervous system. Foods high in vitamin B6: many seeds and nuts, salmon, chicken, sweet potatoes, bananas, avocado, and spinach.
Vitamin B12 – This vitamin keeps cells healthy and prevents nerve damage by protecting the nerve’s myelin coating. Foods rich in B12: sardines, salmon, cod, eggs, chicken, seaweeds (especially nori), spirulina, fermented foods.
Choline and Inositol – These nutrients stimulate the nervous system and repair damaged myelin. Cauliflower and broccoli are good choline sources; while fruits, nuts, grains, and beans contain inositol.
Vitamin D – Sunlight exposure causes the production of vitamin D in the body. It may also be obtained from food sources such as fatty fish, mushrooms, and egg yolks.
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