Fifth Point: Our Hamster, Our Pet
First of all our family hamster is named JJ. I like JJ and we love to let him run around in a giant plastic ball we have. While I think we make a nice life for JJ, I don’t want to be a hamster, or a lab rat or a researcher’s mouse. The point I’m trying to make is, why settle for less then you have to? Meaning, I don’t see any reason to take something that is potentially risky, when there seem to be alternatives that are potentially a lot less risky. Based on my review, we’ll probably stop taking vitamin C and start taking N-acetylcysteine and beta-carotene.
Second, I did this because I wanted to understand MS better and have a basis for assessing a lot of the claims that are made about supplements. I couldn’t find all this information in one place and it took me about a week to assemble this. So, if it was this much work for me, then I figure I’m helping someone by typing this all up and putting in the links to some of the stuff I looked at.
Thirdly, I hope that you might take this information and use it as a launch pad to gain more information. Be careful about where you get your information. I’ve been careful to put in links so you can assess the accuracy of the information yourself. Sites that hype supplements or that provide testimonials are not very authoritative, they might be attractively persuasive, and they might even have a quote from a doctor, but please learn to discern the examined information from hype.
Fourthly, I know I have not got a complete picture here and that there are some holes. I hope to be corrected. Yes, I admit to being fallible. I will edit this post from your comments. Please post stuff that includes links. Think about the second point before you click the post button. Drop me a message, or post a reply and tell me what you think. napay
We did not respond well to discontinuing vitamin C. There has been a clear set back in balance and walking. This prompted me to dig deeper into the Vitamin C issue. I’ve also learned more about MS in writing the 101 post and the the current one I’m working on, a 102 post. Here’s the update.
There is a cytokine called Granulocyte Macrophage Colony Stimulating Factor (GM-CSF). Mice have GM-CSF. When effort was made to induce Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis (EAE) in GM-CSF deficient mice
, The mice proved to be very resistant to developing EAE and its related disability. Meaning, GM-CSF deficient mice did not contract EAE. This implies that GM-CSF may act in a way that enhances the demyelinating activity of MS. This is useful because vitamin C has been found to inhibit the ability of GM-CSF
Nuclear Factor Kappa B (NF-KB) is very difficult to explain. It’s not a cell or cyctokine, it’s something called a “factor” and it’s part of all cells. Here’s an article about NF-KB.
It’s a uniquely readable article. The article states:
“NF-kB plays key roles in regulating the expression of many cytokine
genes. Studies on c-rel-deficient mice have demonstrated that c-rel is essential for IL-2, IL-3, GM-CSF, g-IFN expression in T lymphocytes, IL-6 expression in B cells, TNF-a expression in macrophages, and IL-12 expression in dendritic cells.”
I checked Wikipedia
to verify what c-rel is, it’s a kind of NF-KB. So this NF-KB is essential for the expression of cytokines IL-2, IFN Gamma and TNF alpha all of which have been implicated in MS. These cytokines are all suppressed by Avonex which is one of the reasons Avonex is used to treat MS. So now here’s the big picture
as I see it. Here’s a quote from the end of the article:
“Vitamin C can inhibit the activation of NF- B by two distinct but related mechanisms: down-regulating ROS induced activation and directly inhibiting IKK and IKKß.”
I know that I’ve pasted this together sorta quickly, but for us this means we’re back on vitamin C. You might be wondering about the first batch of arguments I made against vitamin C. There is obviously a choice. IMHO, the strength of the pro-vitamin C arguments are stronger and the fact that I have a bunch of medical journal articles about NF-KB and c-rel v/s a lower volume of info that seems less authoratative (IMHO) going against vitamin C, well, I think it all weighs infavor of taking vitamin C.
Here are 3 more articles that helped me with my discernment:
NF-KB promotes activation of IL-2, IL-3 and GM-CSF
c-rel deficiency increases IL-10 and decreases IL-2, IL-3, GM-CSF and TFN alpha
Th2 produced cytokines, IL-4, IL-11, IL-13 and IL-10 suppress NF-KB activation
Bonus: we found that with vitamin C there was less shot night (Avonex)fatigue/chills reaction. Here's an article that notes that IL-6 might be
the cause of shot night fatigue/chills. Here's another article that suggests that vitamin c might inhibit
the release of IL-6.
I hope this helps somewhat to make my new opinion more clear.
Other similar posts on my road to understanding MS:
Understanding MS 101: Doctor Talk and People Talk
A Layman’s Review of Glyconutrients – not good
Turmeric, Curcumin and IL-12 - good
C is for Controversy – good