Today, in my last look at multiple sclerosis (MS), I’ll reveal a wide swath of natural possibilities for treatment and prevention. These 10 potential remedies range from healthy fats to calcium to ginkgo.
1. Essential fats. Some experts believe that fatty acids, such as sunflower seed, evening primrose, and fish oils, may play a preventative role, but this has never been specifically addressed in a study.
2. Linoleic acid. This omega-3 fatty acid deserves its own mention, as many studies have tried to see if there was a link to MS. Some found that those taking the acid had shorter and less-severe MS attacks, but that the frequency of attacks and disability it caused did not change so much. Another found it did little when tested against olive oil. But some suggest it takes longer than two years to see the effect linoleic acid might have. More research is warranted.
3. Threonine. This amino acid may decrease muscle spasticity brought on by MS, as several studies have shown small but statistically significant improvements.
4. Vitamin B12. This vitamin is often singled out for its special role in many bodily functions, and in this case it’s because of an ability to maintain nerve structure and function. MS patients characteristically have absorption difficulties, which means nutrient deficiencies can occur even if they get enough in their diet. One study, for instance, found that 42% MS sufferers had malabsorption
of fat, 27% had abnormal sugar absorption, and 12% had malabsorption of vitamin B12. What does this mean? That a lack of B12 was seen in a lot of MS patients and thus may play a role.
5. B-vitamins. A vitamin-B complex can boost the immune system and keep nerves healthy. Vitamin B6 in particular promotes the production and red blood cells, and a deficiency may cause MS in susceptible people.
6. Phenylalanine. This essential amino acid comes from food high in protein, and supplemental phenylalanine may lead to less muscle spasticity, fewer bladder symptoms, and less depression in MS patients.
7. Calcium/magnesium. A calcium deficiency may leave a person at risk of MS, and the magnesium is needed for that calcium to be absorbed, as well as for muscular coordination.
8. Coral calcium. The National MS Society is frequently asked about this supplement, which is found in coral reefs. Its proponents strongly believe it could help fight degenerative illnesses such as MS. The MS Society cautions that there is no scientific evidence as to its effectiveness, and points out that it can cost three times as much as other calcium carbonate products.
9. Calcium ethylamino-phosphate (EAP). Calcium EAP has long been promoted as therapy for MS. Without clinical trials, any proof comes only from anecdotal reports. Risk also accompanies this supplement, the major proponent of which died 14 years ago, but calcium EAP remains on the market in the U.S.
10. Ginkgo. This herbal supplement may work, because it acts as an antioxidant and helps blood circulation in the nervous system.
Click below for the previous articles in this series: