Multiple Sclerosis is a devastating disease that affects 2.5 million people worldwide. Symptoms include double vision, blindness in one eye, muscle weakness, trouble with sensation, or trouble with coordination. Needless to say, people diagnosed with MS are usually left hopeless and troubled as there is still no known cure. However, a new study is now suggesting that a simple change of diet could be the key to improving and even healing MS completely.
Fasting Mimicking Diet
Although it is unclear what causes MS, it is thought the immune system attacks the protective coating on nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, leading to inflammation and pain, disability and in severe cases, death. The new diet regime simply involves cutting normal calorie counts in half for three days every seven days. The diet mimics the effect of fasting and seems to significantly lower the percentage of damaging immune cells, while allowing the protective coating to regrow. In a pilot version of human trials, MS patients who were put on the diet to check that it was not harmful to their health, also reported improved quality of life and scored better on the Extended Disability Status Scale (EDSS) which assesses movement, tremors, speech and swallowing. These promising results prompted researchers to recommend even now that MS patients with severe symptoms who cannot wait, can start using the diet.
Since the pilot human trial was small, researchers at the University of Southern California are setting up a large multi-center clinical trial. Scientists discovered that the diet triggers a death-and-life process for cells that appears critical for the body’s repair. The diet seems to have the potential to entirely reboot the immune system. This is because during the diet cortisone is produced that initiates a killing of autoimmune cells and leads to the production of new healthy cells.