I recently attended Dr. John McDougall’s Advanced Weekend and learned some very valuable advice for MS patients including a Multiple Sclerosis Diet meaning simply a starch diet.
Dr. Roy Swank, M.D., famous for his work with Multiple Sclerosis and a mentor of Dr. John McDougall, stated way back in 1959 that,
” Glutteny and chronic degenerative diseases have been linked in the minds of laymen and scientists for many years. The saying ‘to dig your grave with your teeth’ probably has its origen in antiquity; but in the prosperous areas of the Western World during the past few decades the maxim has taken on a real and tragic meaning.”
In the U.S. there are some 400,000 people who have this crippling disease. It is usually diagnosed between twenty and forty years of age and strikes women about three times more often than men.The disease involves a lifelong battle of unpredictable and serious disabilities. The MS patients often pass through episodes of acute attacks while they gradually lose their ability to walk or to see. In many cases they are confined to a wheelchair and then to a bed for the rest of their lives.
There is certainly widespread interest in this disease as well as other autoimmune diseases but very little is mentioned about diet in connection with Multiple Sclerosis or any other disease for that matter. Doctors list genetics, viruses and environmental factors, but again, seem to ignore the dietary possibilities.
Dr. Swank became interested in the dietary connection when he learned that MS appeared to be more common in the northern climates. As one moves away from the Equator the prevalence of MS grows accordingly.
It is over 100 times greater in the far North than at the equator. Look at the diet of people living around the Equator to those living further North. The Northern peoples eat a great deal of saturated fat in their animal based diet along with the diary products that are consumed. Dr. Swank conducted his best known trial on 144 MS patients recruited from the Montreal Neurological Institute. He kept records on these patients for thirty-four years advising them to eat a diet low in saturatd fat.
Some of these people did as he asked and some didn’t. He found that the disease progressed much more slowly in the people who listened to him and ate a low-saturated fat diet. A good Multiple Sclerosis Diet.
In 1990 he summarized his work concluding that 95% of the people who ate the Low-saturated fat diet remained only mildly disabled for about thirty years. Only 5% of this group died.
In the group who decided to eat as they pleased 80% of the patients not eating Dr. Swank’s low fat diet with early stage MS died. Imagine if this work had been done studying the results and effects of a particular drug designed to help MS patients. There would be an enormous amount of money made.
There have been additional studies confirming Swank’s findings and also placing more emphasis on cow’s milk. These studies show that drinking cow’s milk is strongly linked to MS. It has also been linked to Type I diabetes.
There are certainly other factors to take into consideration but doesn’t it bear a great deal more study on diet and its connection to Multiple Sclerosis and a Multiple Sclerosis Diet?
Certainly of note is the fact that in countries that live on starch based diets there is no Multiple Schlerosis. These countries include china and Japan. In the entire country of China 5 cases of MS were located.It has also been shown that people moving to other areas and eating a diet high in saturated fat also begin to have high rates of MS.
Why, if such evidence exists, do people continue to consume the typical American Diet?
“Most people in this country (the U.S.) expect to be cured by a pill and have a cure that is almost instantaneous. With the low fat diet people actually have to work to get better and have to cure themselves.” Dr. Roy Swank