Diet effect on MS

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

Diet effect on MS

Postby Kronk » Fri Aug 15, 2014 2:55 pm

Interesting study on diet and susceptability to MS.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9839742
CONCLUSION: The study generally supports a protective role for components commonly found in plants (fruit/vegetables and grains) and an increased risk with high energy and animal food intake.
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Re: Diet effect on MS

Postby ElliotB » Fri Aug 15, 2014 4:34 pm

The problem with the study is that it does not specify what types of animal fat (meat) and what types of fishes were consumed. There are huge differences in the nutritional values of meats (grass fed vs grain fed) and fishes (wild caught vs farm raised) and the type of fish being consumed, and that could easily skew the results one way or the other.

Most experts will agree that Omega 3 fat and other EFAs are good for everyone, especially those with MS. Grass fed meats and certain types of wild fish such as Salmon, Tuna and Sardines are loaded with Omega 3 fats and low in saturated fat and are properly balanced nutritionally as compared to their 'regular' counterparts. I doubt that the type of animal protein being consumed was part of this study.

One thing is for certain, that few experts can agree on exactly what is healthy food wise (in just about all food groups) I don't think anyone knows for sure. Dr. Swank's diet and Dr. Wahls are totally opposite of each other yet both seem to work for some. It certainly makes the choice of diet difficult.
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Re: Diet effect on MS

Postby Kronk » Fri Aug 15, 2014 7:47 pm

That link is to the abstract of the study. If you looked for the full thing they may go into more detail.

I gave up red meat when i stated Swank a year and a half ago but the idea of "grass fed beef" is more marketing than fact. Yes it has marginally more Omega 3 and very slightly less Omega 6 but overall Organic Grass fed beef is still inflammatory, and contrary to what most people think some studies show it has a HIGHER level of saturated fat. The only study I am aware of was conducted by Texas A&M University’s Department of Animal Science. They did find it has 3x more Omega 3, but still a pathetically low amount compared to even canola oil. In theory grass fed beef should be leaner with less marbling but carefully managed grazing, excellent pastures, and "improved genetics" level the field quickly. It would be interesting if they ever switch the main food source to flax seed.

I am not saying avoid beef... I miss it... but just don't be duped into spending more money by an effective marketing campaign. Natural, Organic, Pasture Fed, Grass fed, are all clever marketing by the cattlemen. It's tough to know what you are actually getting.

http://animalscience.tamu.edu/2013/12/0 ... it-matter/

"...at this point, there is no scientific evidence to support the claims that ground beef from grass-fed cattle is a healthier alternative to ground beef from conventionally raised, grain-fed cattle..."
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Re: Diet effect on MS

Postby ElliotB » Fri Aug 15, 2014 9:50 pm

As with just about every food group, there is no consensus as to what is considered a good/healthy food and what isn't. For every study saying a certain food is good for you, you will find another that says the opposite. Who is right? Who knows? At this point in time, I don't think it is possible to know for sure.

Here is some interesting reading that offers an opinion contrary to the article you reference:

http://www.texasgrassfedbeef.com/grass- ... -fed-meats

This article, and others like it, was instrumental in me going off the Swank diet to a high 'good fat' diet.

There are many others I have read that favor grass fed meats, just as there are many that recommend not eating them or any meats in more than small quantities on an infrequent basis. Again, at this point in time, there is no way to know for sure who is right as both arguments seem to be good ones.

I have been doing a lot of research lately on fats and have found that some foods touted as being high in Omega 3 fat and good for you can also have high levels of saturated fat and many not be as good for you as you may have been lead to think. For example, olive oil, considered one of the healthiest oils, is high in Omega 3 but also high in Omega 6 fat. And the ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6 is less than what is considered 'ideal'. From a 'heath' standpoint, using the example of Canola oil you mention, Canola oil is not all that different than Olive oil yet most experts rave about the health benefits of Olive oil. You don't see the same enthusiasm about Canola oil although there are many 'favorable' articles and probably just as many 'unfavorable'.

This article explains why Olive oil is not as good for you as you might think:

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-7564/why ... think.html

With so many opinions that contradict each other about just about every food group, how can we possibly know what is TRULY best for us?

And as I believe I mentioned before, Dr. Swank's study showed very favorable results from his approach, and Dr. Wahls has had very favorable initial results from her approach, which it the total opposite of Dr. Swank. How is this possible? They can't both be right, can they?
Last edited by ElliotB on Fri Aug 15, 2014 10:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Diet effect on MS

Postby ElliotB » Fri Aug 15, 2014 10:00 pm

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Re: Diet effect on MS

Postby Kronk » Fri Aug 15, 2014 10:01 pm

ElliotB wrote:As with just about every food group, there is no consensus as to what is considered a good/healthy food and what isn't. For every study saying a certain food is good for you, you will find another that says the opposite. Who is right? Who knows? At this point in time, I don't think it is possible to know for sure.


Good point.

ElliotB wrote: Dr. Swank's study showed very favorable results from his approach, and Dr. Wahls has have very favorable initial results from her approach, which it the total opposite of Dr. Swank. How is this possible? They can't both be right, can they?


I think if you look at the diets they may very well both be right. Swank has the elimination of inflammitory foods as well as saturated and trans-fats. Wahls allows them but with 9 servings of vegetables it sways the balance so far from them they make up a small percentage of the diet. I have found enough evidence to avoid saturated fat altogether and while I don't put a ton of faith in any study the conclusion of the one linked above is consistent with all of the MS diets. More vegetables and fruits less "energy dense" foods like fat and high glycemic foods. I will never rely on diet along to treat my MS but I can sacrifice my cravings for a better chance at health.
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Re: Diet effect on MS

Postby Kronk » Fri Aug 15, 2014 10:02 pm

ElliotB wrote:Found this from the big M site:

http://www.mercola.com/beef/health_benefits.htm


C'mon man you seem like an intelligent guy, don't drop that Mercola garbage here...
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Re: Diet effect on MS

Postby ElliotB » Fri Aug 15, 2014 10:27 pm

Given his track record, I found it strange to find his comments on this subject, especially as they seem to echo comments/conclusions from other experts. While I tend to ignore everything from his site, I found this interesting. As it turns out, in addition to promoting vegetarianism and selling products geared towards vegetarians, he sells meat products as well. He has everything covered, doesn't he! Smart marketer!!!

On a more serious note, I followed the Swank diet for over a year until recently. In spite of Copaxone and the Swank diet, I experienced a minor relapse which led me to switch to a Paleo style diet, and my diet has now progressed to The Real Diet of Man diet:

http://www.texasgrassfedbeef.com/grass- ... ery-simple

I am cautiously optimistic at this point. I have been following this diet since June and seem to be doing significantly better, but there is no way to know for sure exactly why I am doing better. I am scheduled for blood work next month and hopefully that will give me an indication of how I am doing.

One of the most interesting facts I discovered in my research about fats and diet is that Eskimos have zero incidence of MS and at least until recent years lived on a high fat diet (blubber).
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Re: Diet effect on MS

Postby Kronk » Sat Aug 16, 2014 7:39 am

ElliotB wrote:Given his track record, I found it strange to find his comments on this subject, especially as they seem to echo comments/conclusions from other experts. While I tend to ignore everything from his site, I found this interesting. As it turns out, in addition to promoting vegetarianism and selling products geared towards vegetarians, he sells meat products as well. He has everything covered, doesn't he! Smart marketer!!!


He panders to whatever the biggest fear of the day is, vaccines, vegetables, and now hormones in meat. Wherever there is a dollar to be made you can expect him to increase the fear of it and push you towards his products. Excellent businessman, horrible human being.

ElliotB wrote:On a more serious note, I followed the Swank diet for over a year until recently. In spite of Copaxone and the Swank diet, I experienced a minor relapse which led me to switch to a Paleo style diet, and my diet has now progressed to The Real Diet of Man diet:


I am on a similar regimen with Copaxone, LDN, Diet and Exercise and have had a couple minor relapses in the past 18months. . One of my toes went numb, literally, a toe. I questioned whether it was a relapse but i couldn't really explain it with anything else. Then more recently a patch of skin on my shin went numb. Again very minor I still felt everything but it was almost like it was really really cold. This is a big improvement with how my first year after diagnosis went. I would suggest you look at exercise as another treatment option. Dr. Richie Russell a neuro from Britain championed the idea of resistance training as a way to rebuild the endothilium and showed some very impressive results.

ElliotB wrote:One of the most interesting facts I discovered in my research about fats and diet is that Eskimos have zero incidence of MS and at least until recent years lived on a high fat diet (blubber).


I have the benefit of an excellent neuro and he told me that the incidence among any native population is zero or near zero as MS is primarily a Caucasian disease. He said the only natives that have MS are ones with mixed race. That being said I recall hearing that all Eskimos are mixed with Scandinavian so who knows? Also blubber is extremely high in Vitamin D and Omega 3 while low in saturated fat. Which would fit with Wahl's and Swank. It takes 10 years for every cell in a human body to die and be replaced. Would be interesting to see a diets effectiveness over 10 years vs. a 1 year trial. I am definitely in it for the long haul.
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Re: Diet effect on MS

Postby jerrygallow » Wed Aug 20, 2014 6:52 pm

a couple things. I don't understand the Mercola vitriol. I look at him like Matt Drudge. He compiles info. Some of it contradictory. Some of it specious. But at least he's willing to put it out there. That's his M.O. Instead of waiting for consensus, he trumpets medical possibilities. For those of us with health conditions, I'm glad someone out there does it. I take his info with a grain of salt, just like Dr. Oz, or anybody else on the web. I don't expect the medical community to endorse him. And their criticisms of him do not resonate with me in the least. I have friends who are doctors, and what they know about MS is pathetic. What they know about health in general is quite limited. What they know about biochemistry, is much much more than I ever care to know. They do their thing. But they don't usually help me much. One neuro told me I needed to drink more gatoraide. Another told me to do crossword puzzles. When I ask about things like PML risk, the answer is usually, "we don't like to think about that"....this is from a university teaching hospital. So yeah, they have their limits too.

Second, I'm don't agree that Swank and Wahls are total opposites. I think Wahls goes beyond Swank and endorses things like liver and grass fed beef. The problem as Kronk mentioned, is few studies bare out that distinction. But she started her recovery by following Ashton Embry, who started his son's protocol following Swank. So she strays from the fold, but her rationale is that by eating high anti inflammatory foods, one can improve. She is much more against starch than Swank was. There are differences, sure, but the basics of eating to reduce inflammation are similar. I chose Swank just because I think starch is good for us in terms of energy, and I hate salad and berries.
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Re: Diet effect on MS

Postby ElliotB » Wed Aug 20, 2014 10:29 pm

Basically, Swank's diet basically eliminates red meat (for the 1st year) and then limits red meat to 3 oz. per week and recommends low fat. Wahls' diet is basically a high 'good' fat diet with red meat being the main staple (I believe she recommends 20 oz. per day). Swank's allows grains, low fat dairy etc., Walhs' does not - The Wahls diet is basically meat and specific veggies diet.

Two very different approaches, both seem to work for some and not for others.
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Re: Diet effect on MS

Postby Kronk » Mon Nov 10, 2014 8:24 am

The reason I support Swank and Jelinek more than Wahls is based on the studies I have read... there is significant evidence that MS patients have too much saturated fat in plasma. The goal of the Swank diet is to reduce saturated fat intake and ideally reduce MS symptoms. I have a theory on the diets mechanism of action.

Saturated fat adds rigidity to the cell wall which is critical, but too much would alter the permeability of the cell and effectively seal the nucleus off from interactions with other cells limiting many of the critical biological processes in the human body. Additionally people with MS are found to have excessively high levels of Lysophosphatidylcholines or lysolecithins, chemical compounds that are created by the body from saturated fatty acids. Lysolecithins have been shown to DEVOUR myelin sheath and are often used to mimic diseases such as MS in lab studies. Why people with MS create too much of these compounds is a big question, but the fact that we know that we do should make us reduce the fuel. Would you throw gas on a house fire, depends on the house I guess?

Wahls affects the ratio of saturated fat to poly-unsaturated but in Swanks original study overall consumption of saturated fat was the primary focus. It was all about keeping saturated fat levels below 20g per day. Those who did were able to slow progression of MS. Wahls story is interesting, but its a single person who also had the benefit of radiation treatment and cocktails of supplements and drugs. Swanks study compared 72 good dieters to 72 non-dieters with dramatic results.

Swanks study isn't the only one to tout the benefits of diet.
- Dr Kousmine’s book, ‘Multiple Sclerosis is Curable’ outlines 55 cases she treated over a period of 19-26 years.
- In 2005, the first RCT on dietary fat in MS was published. The study showed that patients felt better according to standard MS quality of life questionnaires. But more importantly, their relapse rates fell quite significantly from pre-trial rates.

I linked a study on fatty acid profiles in MS below. Do a google search and you will find many more.

Study showing fatty acid ratio in MS
http://www.pnas.org/content/86/12/4720.full.pdf
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Re: Diet effect on MS

Postby ElliotB » Mon Nov 10, 2014 5:27 pm

The Wahls book is full of success stories. Actually every MS diet program has its success stories. All MS diet programs (I say programs because many include exercise and other protocols in addition to diet) seem to work for some but not all - this includes the Wahls protocol.

Swank's diet is quite old and a lot more is known now about nutrition than there was when it was created. The concept of high healthy fat foods (I refer to what I consider 'healthy' high fat foods as foods that have a 1:1 or close to a 1:1 ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6 fats) seems to more prevalent recently.


Which diet is best? I don't think anyone really knows for sure.
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Re: Diet effect on MS

Postby jackD » Tue Nov 11, 2014 11:19 pm

Info from my database on Flavonoids and MS. If there is some interest in this "diet related stuff", I could post a lot more on this but the PROBLEM is you MUST go into HOW MS PROGRESSES and that area is a real cesspool of controversy. "I" WILL NOT go into the little bugs in the brain theory. I will just sit in the "peanut gallery" and watch and listen to the carnage about that stuff.


http://home.ix.netcom.com/~jdalton/Flavonoids%20MS.pdf

http://home.ix.netcom.com/~jdalton/OxStress-03.pdf

http://home.ix.netcom.com/~jdalton/flav.pdf

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