allDiseases & Conditions

Multiple Sclerosis – Food Supplements

multiple-sclerosisThere are food supplements that some people take regularly, sometimes several times a day.

Evening Primrose Oil

This is easy to find in health food shops and drugstores for the treatment of conditions ranging from PMT to eczema. Its key ingredient is gamma linolenic acid (GLA), which has been ingredient is gamma linolenic acid (GLA), which has been known for nearly 100 years to have a great effect on building up cells and reducing cholesterol levels.

The cell generation aspect of GLA has been very interesting to people with MS because the brain and nervous system are composed of approximately 60% fat, of which a large proportion is derived from essential fatty acids of just the type evening primrose oil contains.

Evening primrose oil is well worth a try if you can find an economical source (probably via health food shops rather than chemists or drugstores). Be sure that whatever you buy also includes Vitamin E, since without it evening primrose oil can do more harm than good.

Sunflower and Safflower Oil

Unlike evening primrose oil, sunflower and safflower oils can be used as part of a daily diet, rather than taken in capsule form like a typical medicine.

They are widely available in the supermarkets and while they do not contain the same GLA as evening primrose oil they contain another “essential fatty acid”. U.K. trials in the 1980s of a diet rich in linoleic acid showed that in many cases the downward spiral of disability was slowed or stopped altogether, especially for newly-diagnosed people who did not have much disability to start with.

Packaged Solutions

For a more sophisticated collection of supplements I recommend you contact a local supplier of Usana products. Because MS is usually slow-moving in its development and cure you may have to commit to follow at least a six month course with Usana but I have seen impressive testimonials from MS patients who have made this investment and have had great results.

Alternatively, look out for blends of some of the best fatty acids, including flax, sunflower, evening primrose and sesame oils, and maybe add oils from the germs of rice and oats.

Warning

If you are thinking of boosting your intake of any fat, including essential fatty acids and unsaturated fats, remember the target of keeping a balanced diet, which should be low in total fat and include 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day.

As with all diet plans, apart from some emergency weight loss diets, make any changes to your daily routine steadily. Do not try for a rapid increase in sunflower or safflower oils if you have already lost your appetite, or are ttying to lose weight.

In any case, it is not a good plan to increase your linoleic acid intake without making other changes to your diet. If in any doubt, ask your GP to refer you to a dietician.

Herbs

In addition to boosting your intake of Essential Fatty Acids make sure you benefit from the healing properties of herbs. Cannabis isn’t the only herb that can help – just the best known and least legal. Other herbs can reduce the need to add salt to foods, they also contain many minerals and vitamins, while their scents can be used to help relieve stress, aid sleep and can be added to baths to relieve aches and pains etc.

PH Balance

The theory is that the body’s natural balance between acid and alkaline must be respected in what you eat. Many orthodox scientists are not convinced about this, but the idea you should follow a balanced diet, drink plenty of fresh water and eat plenty of fresh vegetables has obvious benefits. So you will not be losing anything by aiming for a balanced diet, even if you are not convinced by the sales patter that often comes with products based on this idea.