Swank diet discussion

A board to discuss various diet-centered approaches to treating or controlling Multiple Sclerosis, e.g., the Swank Diet

Swank Diet

Postby ApacheQueen » Fri Feb 18, 2005 1:41 pm

I too have more or less been on the Swank diet. Overall, what's really important is to get off all hydroginated oils-most processed food has them-margarine is the worst. Check out the book-Your Miracle Brain by Jean Carper-all excellent information on what's good for your brain-this is a brain disease after all. I've had great success and have never had to take drugs-I was diagnosed in 1995.
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Postby PhireX » Fri Feb 18, 2005 8:30 pm

JFH wrote:Roz

Check out Prof Jelinek's book Taking Control of MS too. (No web site but you'll find it easily on Amazon.) He describes how he used Swank in the management of his MS and takes it just a little further, and his approach is a little more up to date.


That book is fantastic isnt it! I had the pleasure of speaking to him over the phone recently he has updated his protocol more, he says to not use any dairy at all. A new release is coming out Feb he said but will probably be late due to publishing!

I find it's the most positive book I can read about MS, it doesnt say all the bad things, it just focuses on the good!

He is a very smart guy!
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Postby JFH » Mon Feb 21, 2005 12:02 am

PhireX wrote:That book is fantastic isnt it!

I found it very helpful too, and I was fortunate to come across him shortly after my dx just at a time when I needed reassurance.
PhireX wrote:I had the pleasure of speaking to him over the phone recently he has updated his protocol more, he says to not use any dairy at all. A new release is coming out Feb he said ...

I guess from what you say he is still realtively well. That's good to know.
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Swank diet discussion

Postby treez » Sun Mar 20, 2005 6:30 am

*****MODERATOR INSERT*****

the basics...

QUICK REFERENCE

1. Saturated fat should not exceed 15 grams per day.
2. Unsaturated fat (oils) should be kept to 20-50 grams per day.
3. No red meat for the first year.
4. After the first year, 3 oz. of red meat is allowed once per week.
5. Dairy products must contain 1% or less butterfat unless otherwise noted.
6. No processed foods containing saturated fat.
7. Cod liver oil (1 tsp. or equivalent capsules) and a multi-vitamin and mineral supplement are recommended daily.

details...

About the Swank Low-Fat Diet for the Treatment of MS:
http://www.swankmsdiet.org/About%20The%20Diet

*****END MODERATOR INSERT*****

To all on Swank and/or considering some kind of MS diet.

I have read the most recent copyright of "the MS diet book" Roy Swank.

As a matter of fact I just finished it yesterday. So haven't really had time to implement any kind of "plan" yet.
After looking through our freezer, cupboards, pantry, I have come to one startling conclusion..........I've been eating VERY POORLY in substance, preparation, and habit for years now. Contributing to MS....HHMMMM, could be?

To those that haven't read it: It is 380 pages.........sound like alot. However, only about 140 of those are actual "reading", the remainder are all the recipes, and appendixes (?) FYI, which I can see will be really helpful.

Great explanations of disease and theory as to why a diet would / will actually work. Truly impressive long term study results.

This is a well kept secret if it is as effective as Swank studies show (long term, 35+years) Perhaps patient compliance is it's downfall? Won't be here, have to give it a fair chance!!

FYI: I also purchased a book by Barry Sears "The anti-inflammation Zone" (brand new copyright 2005) haven't read that one yet but makes good sense, since we all know MS and exacerbations are centered around inflammation. Although I have only read "bits and pieces" that initially caught my eye, there are very few references to MS, but the theories have a common denominator. Dr. Sears has several other, previous books addressing similar issues.

My thought is to somehow integrate the two. Time honored / proven Dr. Swank, and newer, current scientific theory backed Dr. Sears.

MY QUESTION TO ALL: Based on your MS history. Before implementing diet and after implementing diet ( long term I hope). How effective do you feel it is! Both "how you feel" and symptoms, and changes in MRI if available. IF you don't mind.

If you feel you don't want to share this with the whole board, please PM me.

The "medical field" isn't performing to my satisfaction, I have done LOTS of research RE: MS. I feel the "ANSWERS" may already be out there.
It's starting to look like diet may be an integral part in some situations, at least to me.

Thank you all!

Steve..........aka Treez
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Postby SarahLonglands » Sun Mar 20, 2005 9:45 am

Hello Steve,

Its not just in the MS community but everywhere that diet doesn't get as much attention as it should, as you have realised yourself in going through your current eating habits. Diet is maybe what kept my disease in the background for so long: my first symptom, recorded by my then GP in a detailed drawing of my left thigh, was when I had not long finished my MA. When I say that, I didn't rigorously follow any diet, I just ate better than most people naturally: plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, eaten in season rather than imported from many miles away, free range poultry, only a small amount of organic other meat, non-farmed fish, some good quality bread, a modicum of unpasteurised cheese, live yoghurt, cold-pressed oils, no lard or other bad fats, red wine with dinner most days, and so on and so forth. Perhaps if I had rigorously followed something like the Swank Diet, my MS would never have become progressive in the way it did, I can't say. But now though, I can just carry on in my usual sweet way.

Some people manage it: Ashton Embry apparently has done with his son Matt and The Best Bet Diet:

http://www.msrc.co.uk/index.cfm?fuseaction=show&pageid=47.

Reading through some people's experiences, I would say that you have to do it without weakening. If you do, you will never know whether it might have worked or not. I think the Swank Diet would be easier to follow rigorously, especially in your line of work.

Good luck with whatever you decide,

Sarah :)
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Thank You Thank you!

Postby treez » Sun Mar 20, 2005 1:23 pm

Sarah,
Appreciate your input on diet. I know I'm going to make some major diet changes, just haven't decided exactly yet.

And of course have not given up on the Antibiotic regimen yet, diet is just alot easier for me to implement. Sacramento hasn't gotten any closer!

AND.................I'm anxiously awaiting input from oh.....so....many of the rest of you regarding diet experience.


Thanks again Sarah

P.S. Sure wish we had a Dr. Stratton in Michigan, or at least on the eastern side of the U.S.!
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Postby Thomas » Sun Mar 20, 2005 2:30 pm

hi treez

i would like to recommend the book 'ayurveda the ancient indian healing art' by scott gerson. i tried various diets over a period of 3 years, and this book is my favorite because it focuses not only on diet but the whole lifestyle. my symptoms both mentally and physically improved after a change in diet. in time i believe it will improve my english as well.

my best wishes to you :D

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An Anonymous Australian Internet Survey

Postby Shayk » Sun Mar 20, 2005 6:32 pm

Hi Steve

I can say I'm trying to decrease saturated fat and sugar. I really have no idea if it's having an impact on the MS though.

But, there's an abstract entitled What affects your MS? Responses to an anonymous, Internet-based epidemiological survey that supports the usefulness of diet.

The survey was a self-report of a total of 2529 people in Australia.
Common factors reported as beneficial were cannabis, cold baths, meditation and dietary factors. Common adverse factors reported were high stress, exposure to high temperatures and viral infections.
The abstract also notes "..vitamin D may have beneficial immunomodulatory properties."

I think it's great that they studied information from people with MS. :)

Take care and wishing you well. Perhaps someone from Australia can let us know what MS diet is most popular there.

Sharon
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Postby JFH » Mon Mar 21, 2005 12:04 am

Hi Steve

Speaking of Aussies check out Prof Jelinek's book too - sorry no web ref but Amazon pops him up easily - I have found his work useful.
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Postby Arcee » Mon Mar 21, 2005 5:43 am

Hi Treez -

I've been focused on my diet since the early fall. It's pretty much the Swank diet, but designed by my integrative physician. As I've mentioned previously, she has me eliminate trans fats, decrease saturated fats and increase the good stuff to protect my brain, e.g. lots of berries. I also take a fair number of supplements.

And I've been doing well: best energy I've ever had and a reduction in lesions and no exacerbations. The results of the diet or just the course of early RRMS? I don't know for sure, but I like to think it is the former.

When I was first diagnosed, I read a lot about the Swank diet. And I remember that there seemed to be a legitimate critique of the research design. Does anyone remember that argument? I agree with the contention that it may not get a lot of support because it is about diet and not meds, but I'd like to know what the bright minds around here think about it in terms of its validity.

Thanks,
Arcee
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Postby RevLeonidas » Wed Mar 23, 2005 2:55 pm

Treez,

A few years back, I started on a writing project to show how the Swank diet does not work; thing is, I discovered the contrary: it does work! That is, the only long-term data (25 years or more) available on MS shows that low-fat, nutrient-dense diets (like Swank) have a positive effect on people with MS; far better than any drug science has developed. However, there is much more that can be done with dietary measures than Swank and Dugan propose.

For example, the Swank diet requires supplementation. Every day medical science is discovering that the synergy of food compounds available in natural food resources is far better than anything that can come in a pill. In fact, in some cases, supplementation may do more harm than good. For example, in 1996, a Finnish study on 29,000 male smokers, published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that those who smoked and took beta-carotene supplements were 18% more likely to develop lung cancer than those who had not taken supplements.

For me, I found there to be great benefit in supplementation because when following the Standard American Diet, it is difficult to get all the necessary and beneficial vitamins and accessory nutrients; however, a body can get all the vitamins and nutrients it needs without any supplement pills. I did a little bit of homework and found that I can get all the beneficial vitamins and healing food compounds by planning my diet, and preparing food so that it provides the best nutrition possible. I rarely take any supplements.

I drink (supplement with) fresh vegetable and fruit juices daily, and there are certain foods that I make sure I eat/juice plenty of throughout the week: Salmon or sardines, ground flax seeds, blueberries, carrots, dark leafy greens like chard, kale, or spinach (raw, cooked, or juiced), walnuts or almonds, broccoli, soy foods, beans, and pumpkin just to name a few. Whole grains are important too; however, each of us has his/her tolerance or intolerance to a variety of grains. When it comes to grains, the best-bet is to find whole grains that work best for you; just make sure that it's a whole grain that doesn't have all the good stuff processed out.

Here's a couple more books for you that you should be able to find at your local library:

SuperFoods Rx by Steven Pratt, M.D. and Kathy Matthews
ISBN 0-06-053567-9

Eat Right for Your Type by Peter J. d'Adamo with Catherine Whitney
ISBN 0-399-14255-X

On a final note, I think that food has done a lot for me. Ever since I stopped taking supplements and eating better foods, I have had no flare-ups, most of my lesions have gone away, I no longer need a cane, and I do not experience fatigue. I suspect that there are other contributing factors to my current state of well-being, but so many good things started happening to me once I started eating better that I can't help but think that food and fresh juice does make a difference!

Good luck and eat more blueberries!

Be Well,
Rev. Leonidas
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Diet

Postby treez » Thu Mar 24, 2005 4:18 am

I want to thamk you all who posted here, regarding my diet questions I mean. Your input is greatly appreciated!

I also followed the thread:

http://www.thisisms.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=769

That thread was started in Jan.

Two things for you all on some variation of low fat, low inflammatory, high Omega 3's diet(since that is basically what they all are).

1) Based on your personal MS history before and after the implementation of your diet, did you notice a change in your MS. I mean both in existing symptoms, and exacerbation frequency?

2) what type of eating habits did you have when you were Dx'ed with MS and before your dietary changes?

I personally have found mine have been terrible for quite a few years.

The one conclusion I'm coming to is..........Diet for control or even repair of MS seems to be the best kept secret of "treatments" that actual have shown time proven, significant improvement or suppression.

Would your personal experience support that?

Thanks again all!

Treez
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Re: Diet

Postby Arcee » Thu Mar 24, 2005 6:56 am

Treez/Rev -

1) Based on your personal MS history before and after the implementation of your diet, did you notice a change in your MS. I mean both in existing symptoms, and exacerbation frequency?

Since it's been a year since diagnosis and about seven months since I started the diet, I may not have particularly useful data. But I can say:
- no relapses
- symptoms about the same
- increased energy
- reduction in lesions on MRI

2) what type of eating habits did you have when you were Dx'ed with MS and before your dietary changes?

My eating habits were pretty decent; I was not eating meat or poultry and didn't do fast food. But I probably was not eating as much of the specific brain food such as berries. And I definitely was not paying attention to trans fats. (I used to eat a lot of Nutella. Still miss it :wink: , although am enjoying what I eat.)

May I suggest another question (which I believe is part of another thread but may as well be consistent in one place): what supplements are part of dietary changes?

I also still am curious as to what it is about Swank's research design that makes people skeptical. Rev - what was it about the diet that you initially were scrutinizing?

Thanks,
Arcee
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Diet Alone?

Postby treez » Thu Mar 24, 2005 7:34 am

I suppose another valid question is."what else are you using for therapy? Crabs or other meds? I know from research & personal experience Interferons quite often show a lesion load reduction when started.


Treez



P.S. Arcee, two things that come to mind about Swank research(possibly people not liking).

1) It is old. Last book was Copyright 1987 Doesn't matter to me.....Aspirin is old too and there are still "discoveries" being made!

2) As with any diet / treatment, there are lots of variable to account for.
I'm willing to take a chance!


Just a thought
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Re: Diet

Postby RevLeonidas » Thu Mar 24, 2005 10:49 am

Arcee wrote:I also still am curious as to what it is about Swank's research design that makes people skeptical. Rev - what was it about the diet that you initially were scrutinizing?


At the end of chapter 10, Swank and dugan say that "on a well-balanced diet the intake of vitamins is quite adequate and supplementation is unnecessary except in unusual instances;" however in chapter 11, they advise "that patients take one high-potency multivitamin-mineral capsule each day." A little contradiction there: don't you think? Especially since a whole-healing diet should be designed to provide all the essential, and accessory, vitamins and minerals. This signals to me that the Swank diet provides incomplete nutrition.

Be Well,
Rev. Leonidas
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