Diet and MS

Take home message: Watch Terry Wahl’s TEDx talk (below)  and then consider following her protocol which is found in more detail in her book “Minding My Mitochondria”. Remember that currently this is a small sample-size study but is also low risk with possible high reward.

Short version:

Many diets are touted as being catch-all cures for all diseases. These claims are probably a bit optimistic, though do not discount the effect of diet on your body. A few of the most common MS diets heralded are the Swank diet, the Evers diet, the Raw Food Vegan diet, and the Paleo diet.

Wahl’s directed Paleo diet: The diet I find the most convincing. Dr. Wahl’s has MS herself and has since started running trials with similar results to her own. The diet consists of eliminating allergenic foods such as gluten, grains, and dairy and eating 9 cups of fruits and veggies per day along with seaweed, fatty wild fish, high quality organ meats, and grass-fed/pastured/wild meats.

The Swank diet: recommends an incredibly low intake of saturated fat and a modest intake of monounsaturated fats. Followed 135 patients for 40 years. They claim great results, however the diet study is considered to be low quality because it wasn’t double blind.

The Evers diet: Done in Germany around 50 years ago and most literature on it is in German. It is basically a Raw Food Paleo diet where you mostly eat foods our ancestors ate, including some meat. The vegetables and milk are eaten raw. He claimed he say 12,000 MS patients over the course of his career and noticed a 95% success rate. He however did not run anything scientifically so these percentages could be highly biased.

Raw Food Vegan: Also promises a lot of success. Has a lot of similarities with the Paleo diet in that both are eliminating bad foods from your diet, which is maybe just as important as what you do eat. It is hard to follow and to get enough energy. If you try it, I recommend getting some DVDs on “uncooking” which provide a lot of tips to make preparation much faster and more interesting.

Summary:

All these diets have some things in common. Similar to Michael Pollan’s famous quote: “Eat real food, mostly vegetables, not too much.” This is the basic upshot. With any autoimmune disease you want to focus on nutrient rich foods.

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