Jan 012005

In reading this journal article I found there were some interesting trends in people with Multiple Sclerosis. One, in particular, was that there was a much higher incidence of the disease in smokers; which shouldn’t come as a surprise since there seems to be a consensus that smoking is neurotoxic, and is a common trend in other autoimmune diseases. Of course I have never smoked so this doesn’t affect me. They also indicate a history of a high intake of animal fat is common in people with Multiple Sclerosis. On the other hand they note that there is a much lower incidence of Multiple Sclerosis in people who eat a large amount of fish. Since I really dislike fish, and therefore consume very little, coupled with my very high animal fat intake I was probably damned to have MS. 😉 They also go on to indicate that people who have a high intake of linoleic acid also show a much decreased incidence of EAE (experimental allergic encephalomyelitis.) Of course they mention the North South divide with regards to vitamin D and that relocating to the South in your youth drastically lowers your chance of Multiple Sclerosis; of course they didn’t put an age on that which I find highly disappointing. (Franklin & Nelson, 2003)

I’ll let this speak for itself: “Prospective studies among patients with MS have consistently shown a relationship between viral infections and exacerbations of MS, including a recent study showing a twofold increased risk of clinical relapses following symptomatic upper respiratory tract infections and a 3.4-fold increased risk of exacerbation among those with raised antiviral antibody titres.” (Franklin & Nelson, 2003)

There were also a couple of modifiable factors that were suggested. It should go without saying that stopping smoking was a major item. 😉 On the other hand there were some items that were mentioned that did impact me. They said that there is a beneficial effect of polyunsaturated fatty acids (too bad not the saturated kind since I get plenty of those 😉 They go on to clarify and say it is helpful to have a diet low in animal fat, rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamin D! 🙁 I guess I’ll be sticking with my Evening Primrose Oil and Fish Oils pills until I can sufficiently alter my diet! (Franklin & Nelson, 2003)


Franklin, G. M., & Nelson, L. (2003) Environmental risk factors in multiple sclerosis: Causes, triggers, and patient autonomy. Neurology, 61, 1032-1034.

 Posted by at 11:30 pm

  6 Responses to “Environmental Risk Factors in Multiple Sclerosis”

  1. Yes, I know I was a little slack in my citation format; but I figure that is more than enough for my blog. 😉

  2. I read these studies and find that their contoll sets are woefully lacking and the implication of cause-effect relationships fairly disturbing. Trying to find geographical or regional similarities in groups of people who happen to have MS and then annoucing that people who use charmin toilet paper have a 5% greater chance of having MS is rather improper. They are not salting the mine here, but the funds that they are using I believe are being wasted. Everyone remember how it was announced that butter was bad for you and you should use margerine … only to find out that margerine was the greater evil? Butter is an animal fat that I like, perhaps I like it because my body NEEDS it. Instead of pointing a wavering finger at commonalities, they need to start walking down the dna chains and doing some hard science with pathology. Or even better, take a look at squalene and see why it does what it does. Ok, Im getting all pissy here, but read this. Make sure to crank up your salter first.

  3. A little off-topic but the origin of Gulf War Syndrome is nerve gas. There is twice the incidence of ALS in Gulf War Veterans, which if their theories are correct about ALS, than exposure to a chemical in certain nerve gasses could result in ALS. I find this more likely than the vaccine issue. Not to say I’m a big fan of mandatory vaccination, just that I don’t think that is the cause of Gulf War Syndrome.

  4. I don’t mind the MS money being spent on things that are kinda esoteric. We’re over 30 years into researching this disease and not making a whole lot of progress. In the very least these experiments can lead to what isn’t the cause. I’m not trying to come between you and your burger! 😉

  5. Heh … funny you should mention that … Didnt get to that monster yet, but did have an Angus with extra bacon this weekend. My gut still hurts

  6. More off topic, and from a roaming source… Although immunizations are not a likely cause of neurological disorders, a pre-nerve agent antidote “Pyridostigmine Bromide” was administered to many of the troops. It just so happens that every Gulf Vet I’ve met who has been recently diagnosed with MS, including myself, took the PPills. I wish I’d taken the blue pill 🙂

    Pyridostigmine Bromide had already been used for treatment of Myestania Gravis for many years and I’m not aware of an MS correlation to people being treated for that disease. I will say that I experienced sensations that parallel those I have during a MS exasserbation within a few hours of taking my first dose.


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