A guide on how to eat properly and live a healthy life while controlling, reducing, and eliminating the symptoms of MS.

Multiple Sclerosis Support

MS Articles, Support, Recipes, and Inspiration for those living with Multiple Sclerosis

Vitamins A & E for MS

By Daryl H. Bryant (513 words)
Posted in Living with MS on June 5, 2013

There are (0) comments permalink

Vitamins A & E for MS

Many MS patients alter their dietary intake and use supplements in attempts at minimizing symptoms. Antioxidant vitamins A and E remain among some of the most common supplements used. These vitamins combat free radicals that form in the body and cause cell damage. Antioxidants have a positive effect on both the immune and nervous systems.

Free Radical Link to MS

Free radicals form in the body naturally as a result of many biological processes. Air pollution, ultraviolet radiation and other environmental factors also contain free radicals. Free radicals react with oxygen and become reactive oxygen species or ROS. When occurring in excess quantities or when the body fails in regulating development, free radicals and subsequent ROS cause cellular and tissue damage.

ROS play a role in many of the physiological processes involving the pathology of MS. Reactive oxygen species trigger monocyte migration, which causes malfunction of the blood brain barrier. Studies also suggest that ROS take an active part in forming and maintaining the nerve cell lesions common to the disease.

Purpose of Vitamins A and E

Fat soluble vitamin A participates in cell differentiation and growth, which includes the formation and continued maintenance of bodily organs and systems. Vitamin A helps regulate normal cellular communication, immune function, reproduction and vision.

Vitamin E naturally occurs in eight different forms. The body primarily uses the alpha-tocopherol form of the vitamin. The fat soluble vitamin inhibits ROS production that appears when substances undergo oxidation. The vitamin additionally plays a role in cell messaging, control of gene expression and various other metabolic processes. Both vitamins display potent antioxidant properties.

Antioxidants vs. Free Radicals

Researchers have and continue studying the effects of antioxidants substances on disease processes. Some studies indicate that there is a positive correlation between antioxidants and the reduction of inflammatory disease. A study performed in 2002 revealed that MS patients had abnormally low levels of antioxidant vitamins circulating throughout their systems during disease attacks.

An article published in “Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology” relayed the results of a study that uncovered that vitamin E in particular played a role in causing myelin regeneration in laboratory animals suffering from degenerative effects similar to those commonly associated with MS. Scientists also continue investigating whether inhibiting free radical and ROS formation may prevent or delay the development of MS and other chronic diseases.

Adverse Effects

The RDA recommends that adults consume 5,000 IU of vitamin A and 100 IU of vitamin E daily. Excessive doses of either vitamin can often produce toxic effects. Taking more than 10,000 IU of vitamin A everyday may cause blurred vision, headache and nausea along with liver damage. Vitamin E in daily doses of 1,500 IU or more often causes abdominal discomfort and interferes with the blood’s clotting ability.

Comments (0)

no comments posted

Leave a comment

Not a robot?