- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Learn About Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple Sclerosis is an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks the myelin sheath of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. The hallmark characteristics of the disease is progressive disability due to demyelination, inflammation, and axonal injury.
Roughly 400,000 people in the United State have it. Like most autoimmune disease, more women have it than men. The disease is caused by both environmental and genetic factors. It is diagnosis mostly when the person is in their 20's or 30's. But it can occur at any age. About 10 years into the disease, 50% of people with MS will use a cane for walking and 15% will require a wheelchair. And then there are some people who can function productivity for 20 years or more with minimal disability.
The disease is characterized by lesions in the brain as seen with MRI. Symptoms can vary widely. Some of which may include muscular tremors, spasms, numbness, tingling, loss of balance, etc. Some symptoms may include frequent urge to urinate, constipation, incontinence, and so on. There can be brain and nervous system symptoms. There can be speech, swallowing, and eye issues, as well as other symptoms. In many cases fatigue is common.
The majority of the cases of Multiple Sclerosis is the Relapsing-Remitting form where the symptoms can come and go. Periods of exacerbated symptoms known as attacks, relapses, and flare-ups, can be followed by partial or complete recovery. And then it can flare-up again.
Multiple Sclerosis is a Demyelination Disease
One of the problems of Multiple Sclerosis is that the nerve cells loses their myelin. Think of myelin like the insulation of an electrical wire. As such, myelin is electrially insulating. When nerve cells loses their myelin sheaths, they can no longer transmit signals as fast or at all. The lost of myelin is due to inflammation caused the dysregulation of the immune system which apply inflammation inappropriately to ones own cells.
There is both a genetic and environmental component to Multiple Sclerosis. Individuals with a family history of Multiple Sclerosis have a greater risk for it. Individual who is located in a geographical area with greater incidences of Multiple Sclerosis is also at a greater risk for having it.
B12 needed to synthesize myelin
Because vitamin B12 is needed to synthesize myelin, it is important to get your B12 levels checked and corrected with B12 supplements or injections as needed.
B12 deficiency can lead to permanent neurological damage due to the breakdown of myelin. You can learn more about vitamin B12 in a podcast with featured guest Sally Pacholok,
Iowa Source Magazine writes that ...
"B12 is most critically needed to form myelin, the protective “insulation” that surrounds nerve endings and helps nerves “talk” to each other efficiently. Without adequate B12, myelin can break down and cause symptoms that mimic multiple sclerosis, depression, or dementia."
Treating Multiple Sclerosis through help of diet
Anyone wanting to learn more about multiple sclerosis should read Dr. Terry Wahls book Minding My Mitochondria. She herself had been in a wheelchair with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis. She was able to overcome her illness with the help of a proper diet. Her book provides important information on the nutrients that protects the brain and ways to avoid and detox toxins from the brain.
The diet centers around providing the brain with these nutrients which includes ...
- green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, parsley
- sulfur rich vegetables (for example, cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts, radishes, collards, turnips, cauliflower, kale, onions, garlic, leeks, mushrooms, chives, asparagus.
- bright colors as found in berries, carrots, beets, peaches for antioxidants
- grass fed meats and organ meats (examples are wild fish, salmon, herring, liver, heart, tongue, gizzards)
- seaweeds for iodine and selenium
Also watch her talk in the Ted Talk video below...
Increasing Rates of Multiple Sclerosis Suggests an Environmental Factor
There are many theories as to the causes of multiple sclerosis. And perhaps it is multi-factorial with multiple causes. As with most autoimmune diseases, the likely explanation involves the disregulation of the immune system. But what could be causing this disregulation?
The incidence of multiple sclerosis has risen dramatically in a short time. This was found in multiple countries. For example, MS in Europe has doubled during the early 20th century. MS in Sardinia increased 5 folds over 30 years. [reference]
Since the genes of human population does not change within this short of a time span, this suggests that environmental factors (such as diet, toxins, and stress) plays a role in the increasing incidence of multiple sclerosis.
Chlamydophila pneumoniae and Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple Sclerosis is an autoimmune disease. And some believe that pathogenic infections can be a contributing factor in autoimmune diseases. In particular, there is some theory that connects the pathogen Chlamydophila (Chlamydia) pneumoniae with some forms of multiple sclerosis.
The site CpnHelp.org has a wealth of information about this pathogen and the diseases that it may be contributing to. It talks about the Wheldon protocol for treating multiple sclerosis. This protocol was also mentioned by Russell Farris who talked about infections in Underground Wellness Radio.
In his series of articles about the problem with pork, Paul Jaminet believes that Multiple Sclerosis is due to an infectious pathogen. He cites evidence that high pork consumption is associated with increased incidence of multiple sclerosis and liver disease and cancer. Processed pork appears safer than fresh pork, supposedly due to greater sanitation of the pathogens in pork. [reference]
Article in PubMed says ...
"MS is felt to be most likely either due to an aberrant immune response or a pathogen, or possibly a combination of the two, and the animal models available reflect these two possible pathogeneses." [reference]
David Wheldon writes extensively about how Chalamydophila pneumoniae may be responsible for some forms of Multiple Sclerosis. To learn more about Chlamydia pneumoniae, visit cpnhelp.org.
Wheldon talks about a possible treatment based on the Vanderbilt Protocol (which Jaminet has also mentioned). Some of details of the protocol is in the patents linked here. Obviously this need to be done under the guidance of knowledgeable medical professional.
Wheldon also writes that ...
"There is some evidence that the progression of MS is more severe in those who have a genetically-determined relative inability to remove the toxic products of oxidative stress." [reference]
Although the idea of infections triggering multiple sclerosis is controversial, the Catalyst documentary below gives compelling indications that Chlamydia pneumoniae can infect blood vessels in the brain and spinal cord causing nerve damage...
The book The Immune System Recovery Plan writes about the association between Chlamydia pneumoniae infection with MS. It also mentions supplements such as glutathione with NAC, NRF2, and Brain Sustain on page 301.
Other viruses associated with multiple sclerosis
Other viruses have been associated with multiple sclerosis. In the book Digestive Wellness [page 329 of 4th Edition], there is a chart of various autoimmune diseases and the viruses associated with them. For multiple sclerosis, it indicates a strong association of herpes-6 and measles virus and an association with the Epstein-Barr virus.
In the same book, it writes that ...
"Although research doesn't indicate that people with MS have celiac more often than other people, anecdotally there are certainly many people who respond to a gluten-free diet." [page 330]
Vitamin D reduces risk of multiple sclerosis
Because multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease, getting enough vitamin D is important in prevention and reducing symptoms.
Article in Today's Dietitian writes that those who live in greater sunshine and those who supplement with vitamin D has less risk of multiple sclerosis. For example, it writes...
"if you’re born below 35˚ latitude, located approximately at Atlanta and live at this latitude for the first 10 years of your life, you have a 50% reduced risk of developing multiple sclerosis."
Dr. Patrick Krupka talks about MS, Vitamin D and Viruses and says multiple sclerosis is "a chronic autoimmune inflammatory degenerative condition". Vitamin is very important. It increases IL-10, decreases IL-6 and IL-17, and increases CD4 and CD25 Treg. So get more sun. The process of activating vitamin D involves the skin, liver, and kidneys. He also talks about raindrop essential oil therapy (such as Young Living Essential Oil) about controlling viruses that can block IL-10.
Watch his video below...
Liz Lipski also talks about the importance of vitamin D...
Correlation between dairy consumption and Multiple Sclerosis
There are several references that indicates an correlation between cow milk consumption and increase risk of multiple sclerosis. For example, see this one where it shows a good correlation between liquid cow milk and MS prevalence. A small yet significant correlation was found between cream and butter consumption with MS prevalence. But no correlation found for cheese.
A good informational site about overcoming multiple sclerosis is OverComingMultipleSclerosis.org. It is managed by Professor George Jelinek who wrote the book "Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis".
The site contains information about the link between cow's milk and MS, stress and MS, and diet and MS. Professor Jelinek believes in a plant-based whole-food vegan plus seafood diet.
What about saturated fat and MS?
Professor Jelinek includes seafood for its omega-3 and vitamin B12. However, it appears that he excludes other meats on the account of saturated fat.
Is there a link between saturated fat consumption and multiple sclerosis? An article on NutritionMD.org writes ...
"Specifically, higher intake of saturated fat found in foods of animal (not plant) origin, including meat, milk, butter, and eggs, was associated with the prevalence of MS."
giving one plausible explanation as ...
"meals high in saturated fat reduce oxygen availability to the CNS, resulting in activation of lysing enzymes in cells that may increase the permeability of the blood–brain barrier to potential toxins"
another explanation giving is the tendency for saturated fat to raise cholesterol...
"evidence indicates that during relapse, both low density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidizability and autoantibodies to oxidized LDL are increased. The known pro–inflammatory effects of oxidized LDL might explain the relationship between saturated fat–induced increases in LDL and MS. The reduced amount of LDL that would be expected in the blood of patients on diets very low in saturated fat might explain the benefit of such a diet in MS."
Montel Williams talks about his Multiple Sclerosis in this video.
Article was written May 2011 and is opinion at the time of writing. Author is not a medical professional. Content is for general education purpose and is not for medical diagnosis or advice.