Foods to eat and avoid to manage multiple sclerosis

Foods to eat and avoid to manage multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an auto-immune disease that causes inflammation in the central nervous system. The immune system attacks the brain, spinal cord, and other parts of the CNS, thereby causing inflammation in the myelin sheath, a protective layer around the neurons. While several treatment options are available to manage multiple sclerosis symptoms, eating and avoiding certain foods can also relieve the condition.

Foods to eat

Turmeric is rich in curcumin, an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agent that can modulate cell signaling pathways, preventing autoimmune attacks. Adding anti-inflammatory ingredients like turmeric to one’s meals helps reduce inflammation, ease symptoms of multiple sclerosis, and prevent disease progression.

Ginger contains 10-gingerol, an anti-inflammatory compound that regulates B cell-related immune responses. This helps manage multiple sclerosis symptoms. It reduces inflammation around the nerves and muscles, which causes stiffness and physical pain associated with the condition.

Vitamin D-rich foods like eggs
Fortified orange juice, mushrooms, salmon, tuna, eggs, and cereals are rich in vitamin D. Calciferol or ergocalciferol, an active form of vitamin D, is synthesized by the body. It circulates as a hormone, thereby reducing inflammation in the central nervous system. Research has shown that relapse rates decreased in patients with the condition after taking a higher dosage of vitamin D.

Foods to avoid 

Foods with saturated fats like butter
Foods such as marbled meat, butter, cheese, and high-fat dairy products are rich in saturated fats that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and aggravate multiple sclerosis symptoms. This increased inflammation can stimulate an immune response, thereby worsening the condition.

Artificial sugar
Cakes, pastries, cookies, and beverages that contain added sugars are low in nutrients and can cause inflammation in the body. They are responsible for the deposition of visceral fat and aggravating other symptoms of multiple sclerosis.

The protein present in the milk mimics a component found in the myelin sheath. The immune system mistakes the milk protein with the component and attacks the central nervous system to balance its level in the myelin sheath, thereby worsening multiple sclerosis.

Other treatment options like OCREVUS®
Medications like OCREVUS® are often recommended to patients with multiple sclerosis. Ocrelizumab or OCREVUS® is a suitable multiple sclerosis treatment option to prevent relapse. It is a form of infusion therapy, which can be done up to three times a year based on the severity of symptoms. Other medications include Avonex® and Betaseron®. Apart from this, oral medications like Aubagio® and Gilenya® are also recommended for managing multiple sclerosis.