It appears obvious that supplemention with B12, D, and zinc would be beneficial
The problem with these nutrients is they are not being properly metabolized in MS. For instance, MS patients are unable to properly bind and transport vitamin B12, so would taking additional in supplement form solve this problem or would it actually increase your risk of disease? I posted some information in this thread on the increased risk of cancer from vitamin B12 supplements.
Protease are necessary for the binding and transport of vitamin B12. Protease are also necessary to properly bind and transport zinc and vitamin D.
In the following study the researchers concluded their results suggest that mechanisms which govern zinc cellular availability, compartmentalization of zinc, or the binding of zinc to cell surface membranes may be altered in patients with MS.
Ann Neurol. 1986 Dec;20(6):712-5.
Zinc in multiple sclerosis. II: Correlation with disease activity and elevated plasma membrane-bound zinc in erythrocytes from patients with multiple sclerosis.
Ho SY, Catalanotto FA, Lisak RP, Dore-Duffy P.
“…Results suggest that mechanisms which govern cellular availability, compartmentalization of Zn, or the binding of Zn to cell surface membranes may be altered in patients with MS, and that these mechanisms vary with disease activity.”
Protease digest dietary proteins and release essential amino acids-one of which is histidine.
In the following study the researchers found an association between “subnormal” plasma histidine levels and impaired protein hydrolysis
in patients with MS.
(Altern Med Rev 2000;5(3):224-248.)
Transdermal histamine in multiple sclerosis, part two: A proposed theoretical basis for its use.
George Gillson, MD, PhD,
Jonathan V. Wright, MD, Elaine DeLack, RN,
and George Ballasiotes, BSc, Pharm
“…Here we include preliminary findings on the impairments of digestion and assimilation in MS patients seen in a private clinic. Although only a small number of patients was surveyed, an association was found between impaired gastric acid production, impaired protein hydrolysis, and subnormal plasma histidine levels in patients with MS. Impaired digestion might, therefore, impair the ability of MS patients to synthesize histamine…Various mechanisms of action are suggested, including: enhanced gastric acid and pancreatic enzyme secretion…We also discuss the observed failure of digestive function in MS…”
The lack of the essential amino acid histidine found in patients with MS would explain the altered zinc metabolism. As the following study states, zinc utilizes an amino acid carrier system and is transported as a zinc-histidine
J Physiol. 1992 January; 445: 69–80.
Effects of amino acids on zinc transport in rat erythrocytes.
S P Aiken, N M Horn, and N R Saunders
Department of Physiology & Pharmacology, University of Southampton.
“zinc is being transported as a zinc-histidine complex, utilizing an amino acid carrier system…”
Although zinc is an essential requirement for a healthy body, zinc, like iron, is a heavy metal ion and must be carefully controlled. Heavy metal ions are toxic to cells. Our bodies take great care to make sure metals go only where they need to and in exactly the right amount.
Scientists have discovered that metals, such as zinc, have special “chaperone” proteins that safely escort the metal through the interior of the cell and deliver it to the specific site where it is needed. Zinc also has “binding proteins” to prevent it from accumulating within the cell and poisoning the cell. The essential amino acid histidine, which is lacking in patients with MS, is an essential component of zinc binding proteins, such as ZntR and Zur.
According to Thomas O’Halloran, professor of chemistry at Northwestern University, “The zinc regulatory system is so sensitive and finely tuned-at the femtomolar level-that the metal ions have no chance to float freely in the cell’s cytoplasm before they are bound up in ZntR or Zur. Free floating zinc just doesn’t exist” (Northwestern University, 2001).
In the following study the researchers stated that although zinc is an essential trace element, excess zinc can cause neuronal death
. In addition, the researchers concluded that histidine was protective against zinc-induced neurotoxicity.
Metallomics, 2013,5, 453-460
D-Histidine and L-histidine attenuate zinc-induced neuronal death in GT1-7 cells.
Masahiro Kawahara,*a Yutaka Sadakane,b Hironari Koyama,c Keiko Konohac and Susumu Ohkawarac
“Although zinc (Zn) is an essential trace element, excess Zn causes neuronal death following transient global ischemia and plays a central role in the pathogenesis of vascular-type dementia…both L-histidine and D-histidine exhibit the same neuroprotective activity…that histidine protects against Zn-induced neurotoxicity…”
We know that patients with MS already lack one of the essential components to prevent zinc toxicity, but science doesn’t fully understand the complexities involved in how the body protects itself from zinc, while at the same time benefitting from it, so taking isolated zinc in supplement form could prove harmful.