Sclerosis: Overlooked Nutritional Research
from Part I
What other conditions may be mutually
exclusive with MS? Interestingly it is pulmonary
embolism or deep venous thrombophlebitis. I believe
this may be a clue that at least some people with MS do not have
blood that clots easily. The main nutrient responsible for blood
clotting is vitamin K. (The "K" comes from the Danish
word for coagulation.)
We get vitamin K from food and and
much of it is synthesized by beneficial intestinal bacteria.
These are the same bacteria that are helpful in preventing bladder
infections, a symptom of MS. A common link between blood
not clotting and bladder infections is harmful intestinal bacteria
getting into the urinary tract and crowding out the beneficial
flora that synthesize vitamin K, which is needed to promote all
of the blood clotting factors. I could not find any studies
on MS and vaginal infections, but if I'm right, then these would
be common in women with MS, too.
Women who are low in vitamin K often
menstrual bleeding, which can lead to low iron levels and
iron deficiency anemia. Low iron levels have been associated
A common finding in MS is purpura.
Purpura are a condition associated with systemic
blood clotting deficiencies. Vitamin K deficiency can
cause a systemic blood clotting deficiency, and vitamin K cream
is known to treat at least one type of purpura. Vitamin
K deficiencies can be brought on by antibiotics. People
often develop MS right after they've had an illness, a time they
are likely to have taken antibiotics, which can lead to vitamin
K deficiencies by destroying beneficial bacteria.
My theory is that one reason people
with MS may be less likely to get pulmonary embolism or deep venous
thrombophlebitis is because they do not have a lot of beneficial
bacteria in their intestines to make vitamin K, which is needed
to clot blood. I think this is the same reason that they
have trouble absorbing vitamin B12.
Vitamin K is also linked to osteoporosis and frequent fractures,
prime features of MS. I suspect that all of these symptoms
and links may be logically related.
If a lack of beneficial intestinal
bacteria is a factor in MS, then it would logically explain why
people with MS are less likely to develop blood clotting problems.
It would also explain why they do have fractures,
osteoporosis, frequent bladder infections, purpura, intestinal
gas and other bowel disorders, and low levels of B vitamins and
can cause a vitamin K deficiency and bleeding problems because
they destroy the microflora needed to synthesize the vitamin.
Antibiotics are more common in industrialized countries where
MS occurs. It would be interesting to see if patients with
MS had higher rates of heavy menstrual bleeding, easy bruising
(besides the purpura), nosebleeds, GI bleeding or hematuria and/or,
other symptoms associated with vitamin K deficits. I couldn't
find any studies on this, but if my theories are right, then these
would be features of MS, too.
Liver is a very nutritious food
that has high amounts of B vitamins, including B12.
It is also high in molybdenum and copper. It is also one
of the foods usually listed in nutrition books to avoid
if you have gout, as it is thought to raise uric acid levels.
(As noted previously,
gout is a mutually exclusive condition with MS, and people with
MS have low uric acid levels).
Liver also contains high amounts of purines. Many nutritionists
believe food high in purines raise uric acid levels and may lead
of liver extract have been successfully used in a study
in Canada to treat MS. Injections of liver extract would
bypass the intestines, so if an intestinal bacterial infection
was causing B vitamin absorption problems for people with MS,
then the direct injections would be a way of getting the liver
nutrient into the body, without having to go through the intestines.
Many nutritionists recommend eating
liver once a week as a healthy thing to do in any event, whether
or not you have MS, as it is a food very high in micronutrients.
(Because of liver is the organ that absorbs and neutralizes toxins,
it is recommended by most holistic health practiioners that only
organic liver be consumed.)
Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis and Nitrites
A book by the editors
of Prevention magazine, entitled Food and Nutrition, notes
some facts about multiple sclerosis and bowel cancer that are
of interest. The Prevention editors note that scientists
reviewing historical cookbooks and medical records uncovered that
there were no descriptions of MS or large bowel cancer in Austria
and Germany until after the start of the nineteenth century.
Interestingly, they found that this was soon after nitrates
began to be used as additives to preserve meat. Nitrites
are used to cure meat such as bacon, bologna, corned beef, sausages
and hot dogs.
research papers have noted an association between diets high
in meat intake and MS. There are some African tribes
that exist mainly on diets of meat, yet MS is rare in Africa.
If MS was caused by high meat intake, then it would seem logical
that these tribes would have exceptionally high rates of MS.
But they do not. Perhaps the association between MS and
meat association be due not to the meat itself, but to the preservatives
used in the meat in Western countries. One researcher has observed
that MS is associated with higher intakes of pork,
but not of beef. Perhaps this is because pork is more
likely to be preserved with nitrites, a common preservative in
bacon and ham.
Recent medical reports
note that conditions like bowel
cancer and MS are rare in countries in Africa. This
may be in part because ethnic African cuisine is not generally
associated with a high preserved meat. Foods like bacon and sausage
are more common in the U.S., Canada and European countries, countries
where MS is also more prevalent.
a strain of beneficial stomach bacteria, prevent harmful bacteria
in the stomach from converting nitrates into nitrites. Nitrites
can be converted into nitrosamines, which are a known cancer causing
agent. Many health experts recommend limiting one's use
of foods containing nitrites, because of the links to cancer.
Interestingly, MS patients, as well as non-MS patients
with demyelination symptoms, have elevated serum levels of nitrites
in their blood. Perhaps a lack of
bifidobacteria, combined with a high intake of nitrites, is a
factor in MS.
and iron containing enzymes are also needed to reduce nitrites
in the body. A high nitrite intake, combined with low
levels of levels of beneficial bacteria, iron and molybdenum,
could logically all be factors in MS. If MS is caused by a virus
unrelated to nutrition, then there would be no logical explanation
for all of these links to nitrites, or a logical explanation of
why people with MS have both elevated serum levels of nitrites
and low levels of uric acid.
Pressure sores are a common finding
in MS. Pressure sores are more common in patients with nutritional
deficiencies. One specific cause of pressure sores has
been found to be
deficiency. Interestingly, MS has been linked in a few
studies to iron deficiencies.
In another study on pressure sores,
unrelated to MS, patients with the sores were found to be lower
magnesium and vitamin D than controls. A factor in the
vitamin D deficiency in the patients with pressure sores was thought
to be a lack of sunlight. Perhaps not coincidentally, a
variety of studies show patients with MS have deficiencies of
magnesium, vitamin D and/or calcium, and that variations of supplementation
of these nutrients improves MS symptoms. A lack of sunlight
has been implicated as a causative factor in MS, too.
Perhaps pressure sores are not
caused by MS, but perhaps pressure sores and other symptoms of
the disorder known as MS are manifestations of nutritional deficiencies.
consumption of cows milk has been noted as a factor in MS.
consumption has also been linked to MS in another study.
High milk intake can lower magnesium
levels because milk contains high amounts of calcium, which can
throw the magnesium-calcium ratio off balance. Interestingly,
one of my nutrition books notes that some people have problems
with urinary tract infections, a feature also associated with
MS, whenever they drink milk.
Blood Pressure, Body Weight, Gout and MS
As noted above, people with gout
never get MS, and people with MS never develop gout. Gout
is relatively common in industrialized countries, so this is a
significant finding. Interestingly, people with gout also
have problems with high blood pressure, the opposite of
the low blood pressure problem common in MS. High blood
pressure and gout are both associated with diabetes and obesity.
Obese people are unlikely to be suffering from malabsorption,
a condition common in MS. Women with MS are likely to have
body weights". Perhaps the healthier body weights are
due in part to the malabsorption problems common in the disorder.
Not only gout, but juvenile diabetes
is also mutually exclusive with MS. And, interestingly,
diabetes and gout commonly occur together.
uric acid levels
uric acid levels
incidence of juvenile diabetes
age 20 - 40
incidence of MS
incidence of gout
associated with blood clots
likely to get disorders associated with blood clots
When you look at things logically
- who gets MS, and who doesn't get MS, and what do the people
who don't get MS get, etc., there seems to be some nutritional
aspects worthy of further study. Some researchers think
MS is caused by soil variations, some by a virus, some by car
exhaust. These may all well be factors in MS, but each one
alone does not provide a comprehensive answer for the majority
of the features of the disorder.
Many researchers believe MS is caused
by a high degree of saturated fat in the diet. If this were
true, then you would expect people with MS to also develop other
conditions linked to high levels of saturated fat - such as obesity,
high blood pressure, blood clots and high estrogen levels.
But they tend not have these conditions. According to some
studies, they are more likley to have the opposite conditions
such as osteoporosis and fractures, conditions associated with
low estrogen levels. They have healthy body weights and
low blood pressure. They are less likely to get disorders
associated with blood clots. The common features of MS resemble
the problems associated with absorbing too little fat, not too
Perhaps, like many chronic disorders,
MS does not occur from a single cause but rather an accumulation
of multiple causes, which may not be identical in each person
with the disorder. Dr. Roger J. Williams, in his book, Nutrition
Against Disease, pointed out that while calcium is important
for good teeth, in order to have healthy teeth you need to have
all of the other nutrients that go into making teeth - the right
enzymes, amino acids, other minerals and vitamins. Perhaps the
same is true for myelin sheaths around nerves. Researchers
have found many different nutrients that seem to be needed for
myelin sheath health, such as uric acid, vitamin D, and essential
fatty acids. Perhaps all of these are important. If
this is true, then there are many steps one could take for improved
myelin sheath production based on current research.
One common view of MS is that it
is a result of an autoimmune disorder. If this is true,
then the issue of what causes the autoimmune disorder remains.
One thing we clearly know is that research shows that people
with MS do tend to have a wide variety of nutritional deficits,
and these deficits could logically explain many, if not all, of
the symptoms of the disorder. It is unfortunate that
there is not more research on correcting any nutritional deficits
in MS patients and balancing their intestinal flora.
Unfortunately, you can't patent
intestinal bacteria or common nutritional supplements, so this
limits the number of researchers interested in pursuing research
in this area. Also, no one is going to win the Nobel prize
for discovering that MS is a merely a compilation of common nutritional
deficiencies that can be cured by most of the methods holistic
doctors have been recommending for years. So there's no
fame or fortune in any of these research paths -- just a
chance to help a lot of chronically ill people.
Even among the researchers who are
looking at MS from a nutritional standpoint, many are still focused
on a single nutritional deficiency, which I believe is also an
improbable scenario. Nutritionist Adelle Davis pointed out
in one of her books that researchers in general were often
interested in the affect of a single nutrient, while nutritionists
tended to look more at a person's overall diet. Many nutrients
often work synergistically with each other, so simply adding one
vitamin or mineral at a time may not be as effective as making
broad dietary enhancements. Based on all of the evidence
to date, it seems like it would be highly logical to conduct a
study of people with MS that looked at all of the known
controllable factors that may influence MS, and see what impact
a total diet, nutrient absorption and supplement plan may
Sclerosis- Alternative Treatment with Diet Part I
Statements and information regarding any products mentioned within
this site have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration
and are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease
or health condition. Any information on this site should be used
for general information only is not intended for for self diagnosis
of any health conditions.
See your doctor
or other licensed health care provider for a diagnosis and treatment
of any medical issues you may have, and consult with him or her
before implementing any supplement, diet, exercise or other lifestyle
site may contain errors. Use it at your own risk.
Read the rest of our disclaimer and