Swank diet discussion

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

NY Times on Swank Diet

Postby rainer » Tue Mar 11, 2008 3:33 pm

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Postby cheerleader » Tue Mar 11, 2008 7:18 pm

thanks for posting the link, rainer.
I saw that Jane Brody was doing an MS series...this is the second article.

Husband's been on modified Swank for a year (he has some dairy, small amounts of cheese and mayo...all else by the book) He's doing well, no new lesions or enhancing lesions at his one year MRI. I think Swank and supplements have really helped-
I've listed his regimen here-

http://www.thisisms.com/ftopict-4975.html

best,
AC
Husband dx RRMS 3/07
dx dual jugular vein stenosis (CCSVI) 4/09
http://ccsviinms.blogspot.com
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Postby amyb » Wed Mar 19, 2008 10:11 am

:) Hi. I have recently started what I would consider a modified Swank diet. It's new, and as we know it's not easy. But I'm choosing to believe I'm doing the right thing for myself and that it's a process. I'm glad to have somewhere to come to discuss with others. Looking forward to sharing the process. A.*
"We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us." -Joseph Campbell
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Article is disappointing, but not surprising

Postby Longing4Cheese » Thu Mar 20, 2008 6:15 pm

It's interesting to see where the journalist returns to the conventional fold, with the ass-covering disclaimers and such, and then goes back to reporting on the book about a dietary approach, which is the ostensible subject of the article.

If the journo had dug deeper, she would have found more than just the one statistic about who lived longer and who didn't after 34 years on the Swank diet. Of course Prof. Swank didn't do all that work just to measure mortality -- there is data about degree of disability in the survivors as well that is significant. I am dismayed that the doctor at the Rocky Mountain Center -- one of the few places supposedly devoted to alternative (and complementary) medicine for our disease -- is so invested in the mainstream / Pharma-centric position.

It's also annoying to me that discussion of placebo effect is directed at the diet, but not at the drugs. The principle of cognitive dissonance also applies to giving yourself an injection of a drug that makes you feel sick: "This MUST be helping me, or else the doctors wouldn't have me doing it, and the federal gov't wouldn't have approved it, right?"

The benefits of the Swank diet are hard to measure, and there's no money in it -- therefore it must be untrue and unworthy of consideration? That's not objective thinking.
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Swank friendly!

Postby jazzcat » Mon Sep 08, 2008 3:19 pm

Hi I wanted to send along this site to see if there were any of you that were interested in becoming Swankers. :wink:

Here's a link if you haven't already checked it out:

http://swankmsdiet.org/

In my opinion it's a great diet for general health. As well as for getting and maintaining a healthier balance of the "healthy" fats.

Come on and join us there! :)

jazzcat
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Anyone have any luck with the Swank diet???

Postby hlm286 » Sat Jul 04, 2009 6:56 am

I'm looking into starting the Swank diet strictly because it sounds fairly easy and I figure it's worth a shot. Has anyone had any luck with it? (Noticing a relief of symptoms). I'm a little nervous about a ll the supplements but I'm willing to try it. I'd like to hear insight from others who are on it or tried it. Thanks.
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Swank diet

Postby hlm286 » Sat Jul 04, 2009 6:57 am

I'm looking into starting the Swank diet strictly because it sounds fairly easy and I figure it's worth a shot. Has anyone had any luck with it? (Noticing a relief of symptoms). I'm a little nervous about a ll the supplements but I'm willing to try it. I'd like to hear insight from others who are on it or tried it. Thanks.
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Postby cheerleader » Sat Jul 04, 2009 7:18 am

My husband's been on Swank since diagnosis. He's done very well on the diet. Many, many MS patients have found stability on Dr. Swank's diet. This is a post from Lyndacarol from a year ago, with specific quotes from his book....this is why I personally think the diet works so well. Dr. Swank was a brilliant researcher and ahead of his time. Check out his book-

Posted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 6:44 am Post subject: The Multiple Sclerosis Diet Book by Roy L. Swank, MD, PhD
In reading this book again, I found ideas I wanted to post. Assuming it would be listed in the "Reading Nook," I looked here to add comments. If it is here, I can't find it; so I'll make a new entry.

For those folks who have a library of MS-related books, I recommend the first acquired book be Multiple Sclerosis: The History of a Disease by T. Jock Murray, OC, MD.

The second should be The Multiple Sclerosis Diet Book by Roy L. Swank, MD, PhD & Barbara Brewer Dugan. First published in 1959 and most recently again in 1987, it is often referred to in MS information. In my opinion, much of its information is outdated and even incorrect; for example, I do not support the low-fat diet idea for anyone. (I believe we need fat in our diet in order to be healthy, to manufacture myelin and hormones; we don't need carbohydrates.)

I find his ideas on the genesis of the disease plausible. Page 81
Quote:
The random distribution of the symptoms and accompanying neuorological signs, and the frequent location of the pathological lesions (plaques, or areas of demyelination) in the brain and spinal cord surrounding small venous channels, suggest that the small blood vessels (microcirculation), which include the arterioles, capillaries, and venules, play a role in the genesis of this disease. This contention has been supported by the observations that small arterioles and venules of the brain and spinal cord are thickened, often tortuous, nodular, and alternately constricted and dilated, and by the occasional accumulations of platelets (thrombocytes) and small blood clots in small central venules inside the demyelinated lesions.

Page 87
Quote:
In other studies, it was found that blood serum from multiple sclerosis patients (also from normal subjects) caused reversible demyelination of cultured nerve fibers and also blocked the passage of nerve impulses through these fibers.

Page 90
Quote:
Swank and his collaborators showed that infusions of normal plasma into multiple sclerosis patients in exacerbation resulted in a rapid recovery of the patient, especially in the early phases of the disease.

If evidence has pointed to blood and the bloodstream, I am disappointed that researchers have not examined there thoroughly first! A few are starting now, I guess.


for more info, use the search function at the top of the forums page and search Swank...you'll get lots of discussion. best to you!
cheer
Husband dx RRMS 3/07
dx dual jugular vein stenosis (CCSVI) 4/09
http://ccsviinms.blogspot.com
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Postby patientx » Sat Jul 04, 2009 7:20 am

I follow the Swank diet. I don't strictly count the amount of fat I get each day, but I adhere to the other guidelines: no hydrogenated oils, little saturated fat, no red meat, no skin on chicken, etc. I started right after diagnosis (about a year ago), so my MS wasn't bad. I can't say it has eliminated all of my symptoms, and I did have one minor relapse in December. But like anything, it's hard to tell how bad things would be not doing the diet.

One thing; you might be confusing the Swank diet with the Best Bet Diet (it does get confusing). The Swank diet doesn't really recommend supplements, other than fish oil.
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Postby hlm286 » Sat Jul 04, 2009 4:33 pm

Thank you both for your responses. The only real information I've gathered about the diet is from the website. This is what the website says about supplements:

"VITAMIN SUPPLEMENTS The following vitamin supplements are recommended:


-1 tsp. cod liver oil or 4 capsules (equals 5 grams oil to be counted in your daily allotment). Cod liver oil contains highly unsaturated fatty acids and will give you more energy. It also aids in reducing the number of colds and flu you may have. Cod liver oil is high in vitamins A and D. -Additional A and D should be restricted to only one therapeutic multiple vitamin and mineral capsule per day (not mega doses).
-1 multiple vitamin with minerals (see #1 above).
-1,000 mg. vitamin C
-400 IU vitamin E

So its just the extra vit C and E that I was talking about. Do you take these?
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Re: Swank diet

Postby NHE » Sat Jul 04, 2009 5:31 pm

Here are some of my thoughts on the supplements you have mentioned.

hlm286 wrote:-1 tsp. cod liver oil or 4 capsules (equals 5 grams oil to be counted in your daily allotment). Cod liver oil contains highly unsaturated fatty acids and will give you more energy. It also aids in reducing the number of colds and flu you may have. Cod liver oil is high in vitamins A and D. -Additional A and D should be restricted to only one therapeutic multiple vitamin and mineral capsule per day (not mega doses).


As noted, cod liver oil is pretty rich in vitamin A. Five grams would give you about 12,500 IU which might be considered high by some folks. I've read that 2,500 IU is a good daily maximum.

If what you want are omega-3 fatty acids, then you might want to look at a regular fish oil supplement. These typically have quite a bit more omega-3 fatty acids in them as compared to cod liver oil. If you go this route, then add a separate vitamin D3 supplement to your regimen. Also consider that taking vitamin D3 with calcium, magnesium, and zinc can be helpful. I take a supplement which combines these last four ingredients and coincidentally found that it seems to have halted my symptoms of Raynaud's syndrome that I was having. I can't prove cause and effect (I suppose I could go off the supplements and see if the Raynaud's returns but that's not something I wish to do).

hlm286 wrote:-1 multiple vitamin with minerals (see #1 above).
-1,000 mg. vitamin C


A good quality multi vitamin supplement with some extra vitamin C should not be a problem.

hlm286 wrote:-400 IU vitamin E


When you increase omega-3 consumption, a little extra vitamin E is thought to be helpful to help increase the stability of the omega-3s. With respect to vitamin E, you may want to look at a natural vitamin E supplement. Synthetic vitamin E is labeled as -dl while natural vitamin E is just the d form. You can read one of my prior posts for some discussion about natural vitamin E. In addition, there have also been some posts on the Natural Approach forum which discuss that tocotrienols may be helpful for MS. Vitamin E is composed of both tocotrienols and tocopherols however many supplements just contain the alpha tocopherol form. In light of this, you may want to consider a natural vitamin E supplement which contains both tocotrienols and tocopherols. However, they're typically more expensive.

NHE
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Postby patientx » Sun Jul 05, 2009 8:13 am

hlm286:

You're right - it's been a while since I read the program in depth, so I forgot about the vitamin C and E they recommend. Personally, I don't take these, but NHE has provided some good information you might want to consider.

NHE:

What were your symptoms of Raynaud's? I remember at one doctor appointment (before my MS diagnosis), and the doctor noticed my knuckles were red, and told me I had Raynaud's. I didn't think anything of it - I thought it was from the cold weather. But that was the only symptom I had.
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Re: Swank diet

Postby NHE » Sun Jul 05, 2009 5:10 pm

PatientX wrote:What were your symptoms of Raynaud's?


On either hand, I would occasionally get Raynaud’s symptoms where the ends of my fingers would turn cold, white, and numb. This was usually in the distal 2/3 of my fingers (i.e., everything from the 2nd knuckle on out). It would typically occur in one hand at a time and usually in only a couple of fingers. When this happened, I would start repeatedly opening and closing my fist as well as shaking my hand around in order to get blood flowing back into my fingers. The Raynaud's symptoms would occur about every 2 weeks or so but this is a very rough estimate as I never kept notes. As I noted in my prior post, it has yet to reoccur since I started taking a combined vitamin D3, calcium, magnesium, and zinc supplement. It has been about 1½ years so far. Causal or coincidental, I just don't know. Jimmylegs has posted several times on the benefits of taking magnesium with zinc so the lack of symptoms could be related. I should probably note that I was taking a plain vitamin D3 supplement at 1000 IU prior to switching over to the combined supplement. The reason for the switch over was unrelated to the Raynaud's symptoms but was due to the presence of some blood clots in my urine. I have family members who are sensitive to developing kidney stones and a urinalysis at the time showed that I had calcium oxalate crystals present. I little searching revealed that this could be due to too much vitamin D3. I haven't had another urinalysis since then but I haven't had any blood clots either. The benefits I've seen with my Raynaud's symptoms was a nice unexpected surprise.

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Postby daverestonvirginia » Mon Jul 06, 2009 2:31 am

While I think the Swank diet is fine, I am on the Best Bet Diet. I think either one is good, but I think the Swank supplement list is getting old, I would take a look at the Best Bet Diet supplement list, I believe it is more up to date than the Swank. On one of the BBD sites it not only lists the recommended supplements but explains why they are recommended.
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Postby Bubba » Mon Jul 06, 2009 1:56 pm

I believe..... Diet has A LOT to do with relapses. I try to follow a gluten free diet, key word is "try". If I consume alot of gluten, the dizzy spells and brain fog get worse. When I refrain from glutens, I have a pretty normal day. I am not practicing what I preach, then again I aint preachin.... But, pay attention to what you put into your body. That website on "The leaky gut syndrome" has mostly convinced me..
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