I have a son who suffers from multiple sclerosis.
Q. Dear Terry, “I have a son who suffers from multiple sclerosis. Are there any supplements he should be taking to support his overall health?” — Joanne M., Wichita, KS
A. Dear Joanne, Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease that affects the brain and spinal cord, resulting in gradual loss of muscle control, vision, balance, and sensation. MS is considered to be an autoimmune disease, in which the nerves of the brain and spinal cord are damaged by one's own immune system.
There are some natural, supportive things that can be quite helpful for this condition. However, with a chronic disease like this, it is important that your son keep his doctor in the loop regarding any dietary supplements or natural interventions he would like to add to his daily routine.
When it comes to supplementation, I would first recommend adding a strong, absorbable curcumin to your son’s daily regimen. Curcumin, a compound found in the spice turmeric, is a potent antioxidant and powerful anti-inflammatory that works via multiple pathways. I recommend your son take 1 softgel (750 mg) of high absorption curcumin twice daily. Keep in mind that standard curcumin is very poorly absorbed, so make sure the product you choose features a curcumin with excellent absorption that has been proven in published human studies. The best form I have ever found uses micronized curcumin blended with turmeric essential oils in a patented process. This curcumin has been shown in published studies to be up to 10 times better absorbed than standard curcumin.
Your son would also benefit greatly by adding a clinically studied, uniquely standardized boswellia extract to his daily regimen. Boswellia is a specific inhibitor of 5-LOX, an enzyme that activates leukotrienes, which induce inflammation. Because it helps reduce inflammation, along with oxidative stress (free radical damage), boswellia is effective for a variety of conditions. I recommend taking 1-2 softgels (500-1,000 mg) of boswellia daily. Be sure to look for a boswellia extract that provides 500 mg of Boswellia serrata gum resin extract standardized to contain 70% total organic and boswellic acids with 10% AKBA. It’s also important to find a formula that features a boswellia extract that has filtered out the majority of beta-boswellic acid. Unlike most boswellic acids, beta-boswellic acid is actually pro-inflammatory. Removing it greatly enhances the potency of the boswellia extract – look for an extract that contains 5% or less beta-boswellic acid. This is the right ratio for a strong – yet natural – boswellia extract.
And last, but not least, I would recommend vitamin D. Much research has been done that suggests lack of vitamin D is one of the root causes of multiple sclerosis, cancer, as well as many other diseases that are more prevalent in the northern latitudes because of the lack of sunshine. My recommendation for a good daily dose is 5,000 IUs of vitamin D3 daily.
Terry . . . Naturally