Plant-Based Diets for Multiple Sclerosis

I’m writing this post for my Brother-In-Law, Dennis, and anyone else who has or knows someone who has multiple sclerosis. It is based largely on the findings of Doctor Michael Greger, who scours the world’s nutrition research and posts the results of his findings on his website, nutritionfacts.org. I encourage you to do your own research. For myself, the suspect has been apprehended and tried, the verdict is in, and it is up to each of us to carry out the sentence.

Dr Greger posts two main articles on multiple sclerosis: Plant-Based Diets for Multiple Sclerosis and Treating Multiple Sclerosis with the Swank MS Diet. Both include links to further articles and videos.

The articles note that the meat and dairy-restricted diet used in studies by Roy Swank is the most effective treatment of MS ever reported in the peer review literature. Imagine that. Simply eating a plant-based diet is more effective than any drugs or other treatment. 95% of the participants with early stage multiple sclerosis showed no progression of the disease after 34 years of treatment (plant-based eating). Even patients with initially advanced disease showed significant improvement. Dr. Greger also notes that not a single case of multiple sclerosis was diagnosed among 15 million sub-Saharan Blacks, who follow a traditional plant-based diet.

In contrast, the most commonly prescribed drug for treating multiple sclerosis, Beta Interferon, makes you feel lousy, costs about $30,000 per year, and was shown in a 2012 study to be of little value in halting the progression of disability in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. Another drug, Mitoxantrone, has shown some efficacy in reduced clinical attack rates and disease progression, but the side effects are unacceptable – decreased systolic function, heart failure, and causing leukemia.   A plant strong diet, which is less costly, less dangerous, with side effects that include reduced risk of heart disease and cancer, seems to be a pretty attractive alternative.

Let’s see if I can summarize how eating meat and dairy can affect our immune system. Consuming animal protein introduces IGF-1, a cancer-promoting growth hormone, into our system. It prevents the critical process of apoptosis, in which the thymus gland kills off the “bad” B-cells. We have billions of anti-body producing B-cells, which protect us from billions of different toxins and afflictions, but some of these cells attack our own bodies. The thymus gland identifies these harmful B-cells and destroys them. Eating animal protein interferes with this process, and leads us down the path to autoimmune diseases.

If the best way to treat multiple sclerosis is with a plant-based diet, why don’t medical doctors insist on this treatment? There are several factors at play.

1. The drug industry is very powerful and there is a lot of money to be made selling drugs. A substantial portion of the education for medical practitioners is about treating diseases with drugs with very little emphasis on nutrition. So, it is natural for a doctor to prescribe drugs to treat multiple sclerosis.

2. Our nation made a huge commitment to growing cheap genetically-modified corn and soy to feed the animals that become the meat on our tables. Meat is

Subsidies

promoted by these industries as important (if not the only) source of protein in the SAD (Standard American Diet).   There is a huge amount of money to be made selling meat to unsuspecting consumers. The meat industry is not going to let an annoying thing like meat causing multiple sclerosis and other diseases to get in their way. To give you an idea of the dollars involved, a 2013 study, conducted by a federation of state Public Interest Research

Groups, or U.S. PIRG, finds that the U.S. government has spent $19.2 billion subsidizing corn and soy junk food ingredients since 1995. With this huge investment, you can bet that Americans are going to be encouraged to eat meat.

3. Eating meat and dairy has been an integral part of our culture – feeding cow’s milk to infants, eating turkey at Thanksgiving, carne asada at a fiesta, barbecues during the summer months, etc. And this culture has been supported by the USDA’s recommended nutrition charts. Look through the historic nutrition charts in the following slide show. But maybe the culture is changing. You’ll notice that the emphasis on meat and dairy has reduced significantly over the years as research has shown their deleterious effects.

 

 

 

 

Conclusions.

David’s three principles of treating multiple sclerosis:

  1. Do not eat animal fat.
  2. Do not eat animal fat.
  3. Do not eat animal fat.

It’s all well and good to say you aren’t going to eat animal fat, but how do you go about it? We are conditioned to include a heavy dose of meat and dairy in our everyday diets as well as our celebrations. How do you change to a plant-based diet and still satisfy  your sweet tooth, have a robust and varied diet, and still have the convenience of fast food? Turns out, it is easy and fun. I’ll show you how in a series of posts, Vege Story – Parts 1, 2, 3, . . .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *