Our Diet. What and how we eat.
Today I want to talk about the most recent study on lowering inflammation.
May of 2016: A Study on Lowering Inflammation and MS
This study, presented by the prestigious Boston Brigham and Women’s Hospital, shows that diet can lower inflammation in the brain of mice that exhibit MS symptoms (http://www.nationalmssociety.org/About-the-Society/News/Researchers-Funded-by-National-MS-Society-Show-(1)).
First A short explanation of the connection between inflammation and MS
In simple English, here is the relationship of inflammation to MS
- We with MS have compromised myelin sheaths, which means that our nerve cells have trouble sending messages to parts of our body, sometimes just can’t ‘talk’ to parts of the body. At that point we lose physical abilities, and this is called having MS symptoms (http://patient.info/health/multiple-sclerosis-leaflet).
- Inflammation destroys the myelin sheath.
- Whatever we can do to contain inflammation makes sense.
Second A brief history of controlling MS symptoms with diet:
70 years ago people had no idea that diet affects MS symptoms. In 1948 Roy Swank published a ground-breaking study of the results of diet on lowering MS symptoms. Many people, for decades, doubted this relationship. Since then studies have explained why diet helps (lowers inflammation) and they have pinpointed foods that lower inflammation.
Third Anti-inflammation foods.
Here are suggested foods for increasing anti-inflammation: (http://www.everydayhealth.com/hs/living-with-multiple-sclerosis/managing-ms-and-other-conditions/, http://www.everydayhealth.com/hs/living-well-with-multiple-sclerosis/anti-inflammatory-foods-for-multiple-sclerosis-pictures/).
- Fatty fish Omega-3s help block the body's inflammatory response, according to a 2013 study in the journal "Immunity." However, most Americans consume 10 times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3s. Too many omega-6 fatty acids can cause your immune system to become overactive and potentially lead to inflammation.
- Fruits/veggies A review of more than 46 studies of dietary patterns found that biomarkers of inflammation were significantly associated with meat-based diets, but not with vegetable and fruit-based diets (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/nure.12035/abstract?deniedAccessCustomisedMessage=&userIsAuthenticated=false).
- Tumeric This is the spice found in curry and mustard, giving them both pungency and color. The source of that vibrant yellow is curcumin. Curcumin helps fight inflammation, and one doctor recommends having a teaspoon of this a day. Recent studies show that curcumin may play a direct role in the treatment of multiple sclerosis and related diseases (http://i-base.info/htb/6498, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4342365/).
- Ginger Fresh ginger extract has strong anti-neuroinflammatory characteristics (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S030881461300770X).
- Avocado—Avocados are a great source of healthy unsaturated fat and antioxidants. The anti-inflammatory properties of avocados are so strong that they may actually offset less healthy food choices. Researchers have found that eating the hamburger with about 2 ounces of avocado limited the inflammatory response seen after eating the hamburger alone (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23196671).
- Healthy oils such as olive oil, canola oil, soybean oil, or flaxseed oil are the goal of an MS diet (avoid corn or sunflower oil, which contain unhealthy omega-6 fatty acids).
- Flax is one of the richest sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Flaxseed also reduces the action of certain inflammation-causing genes. The seeds can pass through your intestines without being digested, so it's important to use ground flaxseed in order to benefit from its health properties.
- Walnuts Nuts are nutrient-dense--full of good fats, antioxidants, fiber, and magnesium, all of which have important roles in regulating inflammation. [Walnuts have the distinct ability to inhibit two players in the inflammatory response, according to a 2012 study in the journal "Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids" (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0952327812001263).
We live on the cusp of the cure of MS.
Every month, every week, there are studies that suggest that both this goal and the goal of healing MS, both goals, are coming nearer, and at an accelerated pace.
Meanwhile, we can be in charge of preparing our bodies for healing--and moving our bodies toward health. We can choose to add foods that lower inflammation. This is how diet helps us suppress symptoms.
Next week—how our diet plan can work toward re-myelation.