Treatment of multiple sclerosis with a diet: Fact or Fraud?

Treatment of multiple sclerosis with a diet

Where is the cause of modern diseases?

In the early 20th century Russian scientist Dr. Ilya Mechnikov popularized the theory that diseases begin in the digestive tract. To explain this imbalance he created the term “intestinal dysbiosis”. This is a combination of “dis” (negation) and “symbiosis” (living in harmony). The doctor focused his work on the beneficial properties of probiotics on the immune system and won a Nobel Prize for his work. His research demonstrated that lactobacillus can eliminate disease-causing organisms and to remove toxins caused by them.

What is multiple sclerosis?

It is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease of the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). Multiple sclerosis can affect both young and elderly.

It is “multiple” because it affects multiple areas of the brain and spinal cord. The name is”sclerosis” because the disease causes “sclerosis” or seal of brain tissue in the affected areas of the brain or spinal cord.

For this disease, the immune cells destroy the myelin sheath of nervous fibers. It is important for the electrical transmission of information between cells. The consequences for the patient are interference in the work of muscles and organs.

The cause of any disease is in the nutrition

The vulnerability of humans to multiple sclerosis is genetic. However, the disease occurs rarely and remains a mystery what unlocks it. Increasingly, however, there is evidence that activation of the disease starts in the gut.

In our intestines, we have 100 billion bacteria – 100 times more than the cells in our body! The beneficial bacteria help digestion and have great importance for our immune system. They train and maintain our immune system to be ready for the real pathogenic agents. If happens the immune cells to be wrongly directed , they can attack your own organism. A similar thing happens with multiple sclerosis.

However, if it is proved that the cause of the problem is the intestinal bacteria, attention will be on the antibiotics, which can remove bad cells. Another possibility would be to develop specific viruses that attack the bad bacteria. Before that, however, the scientists should determine, which precisely bacteria are the cause of such diseases.

What say the studies?

The bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract are an important triggering factor for multiple sclerosis, says prof. Hartmut Wekerle Institute of the Max Planck in Germany. Most likely they trigger an initial inflammation, which activates the disease process. His hypothesis was checked on mice genetically programmed to get sick from multiple sclerosis. Those whose intestines were clean from bad bacteria remained healthy, while others who had a lot of bad bacteria in their intestines become sick.

Even more impressive is the study, conducted at the Clinic Groshadern in Munich led by Professor. Reinhard Hohlfeld. They analyzed the intestinal flora of two identical twins. One was suffering from multiple sclerosis, the other wasn’t . At first glance, the researchers found no major differences in the composition of bacteria in their guts. But when bacteria from the sick brother were transferred to susceptible to multiple sclerosis mice, the animals got the disease more often.

The explanation of scientists that the bad bacteria in the intestines of people prone to the disease are the reason. The bad bacteria can program wrongly the immune system. In other words – with a different intestinal flora same person would remain healthy! Yet the scientific criteria is still a hypothesis, which needs to be proven. Experts say they do not want to arouse false expectations for patients.

Another theory advises patients with multiple sclerosis to make a certain diet. There are over 100 types of diets, which is possible to help. Is there a proof that nutrition influences? Yes, for example, in Japan years before the disease was unknown. Today, when there are too many fast food restaurants more patients are suffering from multiple sclerosis. Scientists recall that the condition of the intestines can be a reason for other diseases – asthma, allergies, autism, and depression.

What means good intestinal flora?

The formation of stable and sustainable flora begins even before birth. Here are the most important factors:

  • the health of both parents at the time of conception;
  • maternal nutrition during pregnancy;
  • type of birth;
  • contact skin to skin;
  • breastfeeding and proper nutrition are essential for health not only in childhood but throughout our life.

A natural extension of this process is to build a menu that contains minimal sugar, simple carbohydrates and trans fats. More important is the consumption of fresh and seasonal vegetables and fruits, healthy fats and full value proteins.

Maintaining good intestinal flora required in our menu each day to have probiotic foods like:

  • yogurt
  • kefir
  • sauerkraut
  • and other Lacto-fermented vegetables (kimchi, sour pickles, etc)

If you cannot consume such foods daily, the alternative is to take a high-quality probiotic to ensure healthy intestinal flora. Stress, using antibiotics in the form of drugs has a particularly destructive effect on the beneficial intestinal bacteria.

Treatment of multiple sclerosis with a diet: Fact or Fraud?

If you suffer from an autoimmune disease you are likely to have intestinal permeability. This is due to an unhealthy balance of the intestinal flora, which leads to a variety of digestive disorders. This includes Candida, which ultimately devastate the intestinal wall and it becomes too permeable.

To change this situation, it is important to eat foods full of live probiotics. Sticking to fermented vegetables, yogurt, and apple cider vinegar on a daily basis, you give a great start to the settlement of the intestines with good bacteria.

It is important to consume yogurt on a daily basis, in small portions several times a day.

Today you can find on the market many probiotic supplements – live cultures of lactobacillus and bifidobacteria, which are useful and part of the normal gut flora.


About Jane Peterson

Jane Peterson is a supportive nutrition and fitness coach and registered dietitian nutritionist known for her health advices and innovative ideas to inspire and motivate people to reach their goals. She has a passion for personal training and enjoys motivating people, using specific exercise programs and track their progression for success. As a parent herself, Jane Peterson knows what it means to have to work hard to keep a good shape during pregnancy and after having a baby. She is interested about improving the way children eat, pediatric nutrition and family meal planning. Jane has several years of personal and professional experience and is practicing as a freelance food and health writer. She works personally with a small number of hand picked clients, transforming their health and their physiques using her four key elements of wellness: lifestyle, exercise, nutrition and supplementation.