Microsoft word - health and nutrition tips for multiple sclerosis

Health and Nutrition Tips for Multiple Sclerosis

As an MS patient, you may have heard or read about special diets, vitamins, or supplements
which are supposed to help MS. In reality, there is no specific diet or dietary supplementation
which is known to cure or prevent MS. Some small studies have been conducted, but there are no
conclusive results.
Overall, a balanced diet based on the food pyramid is recommended for MS patients, as it is
people who don’t have MS. It is particularly important for people with MS to maintain a healthy
weight, since this makes mobility easier and may help prevent strain which can lead to back, hip
and knee pain.
Although it is easier to take supplements, the best nutrients come from plant sources. While meat
and dairy products in moderation provide vitamins and minerals, our major source of nutrients is
from vegetables, grains and fruit.

We recommend a diet low in saturated fat and high in fiber, with a fluid intake of 8 glasses a day
of water or other non-caffeinated beverages.
Start by replacing saturated (“bad fat”, which is found in meat and whole milk dairy products,
with mono or poly unsaturated fats (“good fat”). FAT is important in the diet for a lot of reasons,
but the reason we like it is because it makes us feel full and satisfied.
Foods rich in “good fat” include:
Oily fish- salmon, Atlantic herring and mackerel, bluefin tuna, sardines and codfish (2 servings a
week is recommended).
Flaxseed, walnut, sunflower, soybean, corn, wheat germ, canola, grape seed, and safflower oil.
FIBER is important for bowel regulation, can help lower cholesterol levels, and can help you
maintain a healthy weight by making you feel less hungry. Fiber is especially important for
people with MS, since constipation is a common problem due to the disease itself, and also due
to some of the medications prescribed for MS symptoms.
Foods rich in fiber include:
2009 The Multiple Sclerosis Center of Atlanta, Inc.
Grains such as whole wheat, oats, flax and brown rice
Many cereals have high fiber content also- for example ½ cup of Fiber One Cereal contains 14
grams of fiber. This is almost half of your daily requirement (25 grams)
Vegetables which can be eaten raw or cooked, such as carrots, bell peppers, and tomatoes, have a
higher fiber impact when eaten raw. Eating cooked vegetables such as potatoes with the skin on
also adds to the fiber content.
The same is true for fruits- raw and with the peel on is best.

Discuss all supplements with the doctor before you start taking them. Supplements can have side
effects, interactions with other medications, or can have a harmful effect on your health.
Fish oil contains n-3 fatty acids. Some studies suggest n-3 fatty acids may have an impact on the
immune system and decrease disability progression in MS.
The recommended dose is 2000 mg daily
It is important to take a daily multivitamin or a vitamin E supplement when taking fish oils.
Fish oil may interact with blood thinners (anticoagulants), diabetes medicines (oral medicines as
well as insulin) and medications for high blood pressure (antihypertensives)
Fish oil also interacts with some “water pills” ( thiazide diuretics) such as Lasix
CALCIUM improves nerve conduction, muscle contraction and may have a mild suppressant
effect on your immune system. It is also necessary for bone health.
Recommended dose: 1000-1500 mg daily
Various forms are available. Follow label instructions about taking with or without food.
Must take in divided doses or full benefit. (for example, 500mg three times a day)
Interacts with thiazide diuretics (“water pills” such as Lasix)
VITAMIN D is a vitamin and a hormone important for the absorption of calcium, and it may
have a mild suppressant effect on your immune system.
Calcium supplements usually contain 200 IU of vitamin D per tablet If you take Fosamax, ask your MD for Fosamax + Vitamin D (2800IU) Ten minutes of sunlight on your face and arms is a natural source of Vitamin D 2009 The Multiple Sclerosis Center of Atlanta, Inc. POTENTIALLY HARMFUL SUPPLEMENTS
There are supplements which should be avoided when you have MS because these supplements
may interfere with your medication or stimulate your immune system. Do NOT take:
Immune Stimulating Interact with Steroids

Cat’s claw
Coenzyme Q10 Promote Fatigue
Siberian ginseng Vitamin A Vitamin C greater than 1000mg/day Zinc 2009 The Multiple Sclerosis Center of Atlanta, Inc.


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