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Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Using diet to counter the effects of multiple sclerosis
A new study of multiple sclerosis patients examines how a strict diet may ease the symptoms of the disease.
MS, a potentially disabling disease of the central nervous system, affects about 400,000 people in the U.S., and is two to three times more common among women. Current treatments may have severe side effects, and there is no cure.
A cutting-edge, but low-tech attempt to slow the symptoms involves the diet and the microbiome -- bacteria that live mostly in our digestive tract, unique to us as a fingerprint. Research now underway at New York's Mount Sinai Hospital is studying how food might be used as medicine to combat the disease, reports Dr. Tara Narula.
Once a month this pioneering group of MS patients meets to get tips from a nutritionist and share their temptations.
"I was craving a hamburger something terrible the other night," said one patient.
"They had lobster crepes, and there was just no way I was gonna pass that off!" laughed another.
Neurologist Ilana Katz Sand is leading one of the first clinical trials to study the link between what we eat, gut bacteria, and MS symptoms.
"The gut is actually kind of a natural place to look," Dr. Katz Sand said. "And that's because the immune system, about 70 percent of it, lives inside the gut, and has far-reaching implications throughout the rest of the body."