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Supplements, Vitamins and Herbs for MS

By Daryl H. Bryant (468 words)
Posted in MS Book News on September 10, 2014

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Supplements, Vitamins and Herbs for MS

Patients dealing with MS must exercise caution when choosing what dietary supplements to take. One important factor you must consider when selecting supplements to help manage your MS symptoms is the potential effect of the supplement on your immune system. It is imperative that you consult with your physician about your particular needs before you start taking any vitamins, herbs, or dietary supplements to help you cope with your MS.

According to the National MS Society, vitamins that could help those with MS are vitamins B6, B12 and D. Vitamins B6 and B12 are said to help increase energy levels and combat MS fatigue. Vitamin B6, in particular, has been shown to affect chronic inflammation, as low B6 levels may be linked to inflammation. However, be cautious of the amount of B6 you ingest, as high levels of this vitamin can cause pain and tingling very similar to symptoms associated with MS.

There have also been studies done on vitamin B12, with recent studies showing that MS is occasionally associated with a vitamin B12 deficiency. In addition, vitamin B12 is said to improve your memory and boost your overall brain health.

For those who are not fond of taking vitamins in tablet form, some common foods richest in vitamin B6: pistachio nuts, fish like tuna and salmon, bananas, avocado, and spinach. Foods with vitamin B12 include: clams, turkey, low-fat dairy, and eggs.

Two herbs that are commonly believed to be helpful to those with MS are Gingko biloba and St. John’s Wart. Gingko biloba is another herb that is said to help MS patients improve their memory and mental function. St. John’s Wart has been proven to treat mild to moderate depression and has fewer side effects than other prescription antidepressants.

Dietary Supplements
Coenzyme Q10 is an antioxidant required for basic cell function, with some studies showing that it improves energy levels. One dietary supplement in particular worth mentioning is MitoQ. This supplement supports organ health, and some MitoQ users even report experiencing a significant increase in overall energy.

While there have been studies that allude to these vitamins, herbs, and supplements helping to reduce MS symptoms, there is no absolute concrete data. Therefore, consult with your doctor first before you take anything unfamiliar, as treatments affect MS patients differently and they may pose a risk to your immune system or interact poorly with any prescription medicines you are taking.

In addition, though dietary supplements shouldn’t be used in the place of a proper diet, they can be beneficial when used to complement a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, if you’re interested in some of these alternative treatments, talk to your doctor and to other MS patients who have used it before making your decision. 

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