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 ​​​​​​Multiple Sclerosis... latest findings complement old wisdom

Multiple Sclerosis is an autoimmune and inflammatory degenerative disease characterized by the destruction of the protective myelin sheath of the neurons due to an attack by the body’s own immune system.
 
What increases the risk of Multiple Sclerosis?
 
Many factors of risk were identified and studied, from latent viral infections and genetic susceptibility to nutritional deficiencies. One recognized factor seems to be associated with the latitude of habitat and its influence on vitamin D production following sun exposure. Considering the immune system regulating role that vitamin D plays, it is not surprising that lower levels of vitamin D have been found in the blood of MS patients in comparison with control groups. In a study on the connection between vitamin D and general mortality, it was found that optimum levels of vitamin D should be above 50 nmols/L, with the sweet spot at 50 - 70 nmols/L. At these levels, vitamin D was found to provide protection against MS, colon cancer and breast cancer.
One other factor associated with habitat was recognized by Dr. Robert Swank earlier in the 20th century, in his observation that diets in Northern climates consist of higher percentage of meat. This idea was backed up by a post WWII Norway study where the incidence of MS was found in direct proportion with the consumption of saturated fats.
One related risk factor, more recently identified, points to TGF1, a cancer promoting growth hormone, found responsible of several mechanisms of cancer development and proliferation. This comes in the context of the clonal deletion theory of immunity, where, as the norm, out of the billions of antibodies producing beta cells, each capable of recognizing a different molecular signature, those capable of targeting the human tissues are selectively destroyed via apoptosis at fetal stage and consistently through life. However, with the intervention of TGF1, this purging mechanism is halted by prevention of inappropriate lymphocytes apoptosis and the autoimmune response is manifested.
One other risk factor seems to be milk consumption, as milk was shown to unbalance the optimum level of serum uric acid by lowering it to levels shown to promote Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cancer and multiple sclerosis.
 
Treatment options for Multiple Sclerosis
 
The most commonly prescribed drug for MS is Beta Interferon and the treatment is about $30,000/year; in addition, the drug was shown to not prevent or delay disability.
One alternative is the chemotherapy drug Novatrone, which was found to cause leukemia and irreversible heart damage.
And yet there may be another option, a cheap, side effects free and also, most effective treatment to date. This is the Swank Diet, a natural, mostly plant based diet promoted and tested by Dr. Robert Swank in the 50’s.
During the first 3 years’ trial on 100 patients, and his 5, 7, 20, 34 and even 50 years follow up reports, Dr. Swank noted that 95% of the patients showed no progression of the disease for about 30 years, when they maintained a diet of less than 20g saturated fat daily. When the amount of intake fat was however increased by even 5 to 17g/day, the condition became reactivated, tripling the death rate, even 5 to 10 years into the treatment.
These longterm studies concluded that MS is caused largely by consumption of animal fat; this could be further explained by the obstructive effect of animal fat on small capillaries, demonstrated by the immediate improvement of microcirculation in the heart muscle as well as in the retinal capillaries when about 87% of plasma LDL cholesterol was removed.
As an additional support of this most effective treatment, Dr. John McDougall finalized a replica of Dr. Swank’s study. The study concluded that though there was no significant improvement in the brain MRI, relapse rate or disability after one year between the two study groups, the diet group showed significant improvement in measures of fatigue, BMI and metabolic biomarkers. The conclusion was that longer studies and larger sample sizes are needed to evaluate the long-term benefits of the diet.
 
In conclusion, the results Dr. Swank published following his 50 years long study, seem to remain the most effective treatment of multiple sclerosis ever reported in peer review literature.
 
    
 

* A Dr. Sozanski original copyright, created for nutritionfacts.org and based on nutritionfacts.org site materials.

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