A chronic autoimmune disease, multiple sclerosis, or MS, is characterized by demyelination, destruction of the protective myelin sheath or coating that surrounds the nerves. Loss of myelin makes it harder for nerve signals to travel back and forth to the brain.
One of the most exciting areas of research in dietary supplements for MS suggests that inosine may slow the destruction of the myelin covering around the nerves.
Variable dosages (500 to 3,000 milligrams per day), depending on uric acid levels, can increase uric acid and potentially slow the progression of MS, but it also increases the risk of a uric acid kidney stone. Uric acid functions as a free-radical absorber and may inhibit the damage caused by this autoimmune disease up to a point.
Yet, in MS these supplements may actually help because MS patients have been known to have lower uric acid levels. It’s currently being studied in relapsing-remitting MS (2,000 to 3,000 milligrams per day) and even Parkinson’s disease. Again, this is preliminary, but it’s interesting enough to discuss with your doctor.
What is Multiple Sclerosis (MS)?
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a condition that can affect the brain and spinal cord, causing a wide range of potential symptoms, including problems with vision, arm or leg movement, sensation or balance.
It’s a lifelong condition that can sometimes cause serious disability, although it can occasionally be mild.
In many cases, it’s possible to treat symptoms. Average life expectancy is slightly reduced for people with MS.
It’s most commonly diagnosed in people in their 20s and 30s, although it can develop at any age. It’s about 2 to 3 times more common in women than men.
MS is one of the most common causes of disability in younger adults.
Natural Remedies For Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Higher vitamin D levels in individuals with MS have been correlated with less MS activity. In the BENEFIT trial, MS patients who had vitamin D blood levels of 20 ng/mL or higher in the first 12 months following their first episode had a significantly lower risk of new active lesions and relapse, lower increase in lesion volume, and lower disability during the following 4 years than those who had a vitamin D blood level less than 20 ng/mL. I’m not convinced that the higher vitamin D levels improved the MS prognosis, but rather that less severe MS is associated with higher vitamin D levels. I recommend MS patients work with their doctors to normalize their vitamin D levels because of its known benefit for bone health.
Red yeast rice
This supplement, which is used to lower high cholesterol, may also slow the progression of later-stage MS; studies of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, such as simvastatin, have shown recent promise in slowing progression or reducing brain shrinkage rates in secondary progressive (chronic) MS patients (red yeast rice contains a compound that’s very similar to what’s found in simvastatin, hence the possible connection). If you cannot tolerate this statin or other statin drugs, ask your doctor about taking red yeast rice.