What is the Best Diet for Multiple Sclerosis?

K.C. Bruning

It has not been clinically proven that there is a particular diet for multiple sclerosis (MS) that will reduce the symptoms associated with the disease. The best known diet for multiple sclerosis is to follow the same guidelines for healthy eating recommended to the general population. There have been several patients who have reported a decrease in symptoms following the elimination of foods such as gluten and legumes from their diet.

A person with multiple sclerosis may experience tremors in the hands and feet that make movement and grip difficult.
A person with multiple sclerosis may experience tremors in the hands and feet that make movement and grip difficult.

Those with MS may wish to experiment with combinations of food to see if they also have a sensitivity that worsens the symptoms of the disease. Other methods that have been reported, but not proven, to be effective — such as high doses of vitamins and the MS Best Diet program — should be approached with caution, and are best taken with the guidance of a doctor.

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, incurable disease that affects nerve functioning in the body.
Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, incurable disease that affects nerve functioning in the body.

Overall, the best diet for multiple sclerosis is the same as the high fiber and low-fat regime that is recommended for the general public. Patients with multiple sclerosis can improve their health, and subsequently manage symptoms, by avoiding alcohol, caffeine, and processed foods. The best way to manage MS is to decide on a personal basis which foods provide the best results and which should be avoided.

Multiple scleroisis may cause blurred vision.
Multiple scleroisis may cause blurred vision.

There has been no clinical evidence that there is any generally effective special diet for multiple sclerosis patients. Anecdotal evidence has shown that many patients have noticed an improvement in managing symptoms by eliminating certain foods. Gluten and legumes appear to make symptoms worse for several individuals with the disease.

Caffeine should be avoided by those with multiple sclerosis.
Caffeine should be avoided by those with multiple sclerosis.

One of the better known diets for multiple sclerosis diets is the “Best Bet Diet”, which was created by Ashton Embry, PhD. Though it has not been clinically proven to be effective, there are several elements to the diet which appear to have helped individuals with MS. The diet recommends avoiding refined sugar, legumes, dairy, and gluten, and limiting intake of yeast and eggs. It advises supplementing with vitamin D3, magnesium, and calcium. There are also several other suggested oils, vitamins and minerals, including omega-3 fish oil and grape seed extract.

Individuals with multiple sclerosis may experience loss of muscle control necessary to perform ordinary tasks, such as teeth brushing.
Individuals with multiple sclerosis may experience loss of muscle control necessary to perform ordinary tasks, such as teeth brushing.

Patients who wish to try the “Best Bet” multiple sclerosis diet should consult a doctor. The balance of vitamin D3, magnesium, and calcium in particular must be handled properly in order to avoid adverse side effects. Many doctors also recommend that MS patients exercise caution when taking large doses of vitamins and minerals, as they are not proven to be more effective in managing symptoms and could even be detrimental to the health.

While multiple sclerosis is not hereditary, having a first-degree relative with multiple sclerosis significantly increases an individual's risk of developing the disease.
While multiple sclerosis is not hereditary, having a first-degree relative with multiple sclerosis significantly increases an individual's risk of developing the disease.

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