Multiple Sclerosis is a disease in which the immune system of the body causes damage to the CNS, hence any supplement that is responsible for boosting the immune response should be avoided.
In such a case, the dosing is a big factor when it comes to minerals and supplements because the intake of higher doses can be harmful. It is very important for patients of MS to consult with a doctor to properly determine the dose that will be most effective.
BASICS ABOUT VITAMINS AND MINERALS
Vitamins are chemicals that are required by our body for the maintenance of health. Minerals are inorganic substances that also required by the body just like vitamins to stay healthy.
However, it should be considered that intake of too much of certain minerals and vitamins can be dangerous to health so it is very important to talk to the doctor before any supplements are taken.
Vitamins and Minerals for those with Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
A variety of minerals and vitamins are evaluated to be used for the treatment of MS. The most important of them include vitamins with antioxidant effects like vitamin C, vitamin E and selenium.
Vitamin D: People with MS have increased risk for bone loss, hence the intake of vitamin D for the maintenance of healthy bones is essential. Various studies show that increased levels of Vitamin D in the blood is associated with a decreased chance of developing MS.
Antioxidant Vitamins – Vitamin A, C & E: Intake of antioxidant vitamins like vitamin A, C and E reduce the damage in the body that is caused by free radicals.
Urinary tract infections that are common with people with MS, can be treated by the intake of vitamin C.
Vitamin E which can be found in nuts, vegetable oils and fruits is also responsible for the prevention of oxidative damage of the body.
Vitamin A known commonly as an important vitamin for the eye, sources include eggs, liver and cod liver oil. This vitamin also helps in the promotion of normal cell growth throughout the body.
Vitamin B6: Vitamins B6 supplements are taken to increase energy. Sources of this vitamin include fish, chicken and pork, vegetable and bananas. Care should be taken to not take this vitamin in high dosage because it can cause tingling, numbness and pain.
Vitamin B12: Natural sources of this vitamin include poultry, fish, eggs and dairy products. Deficiency of this vitamin can lead to neurological symptoms of MS however they are only found in a small number of patients.
Selenium: Sources of selenium include seafood, meats, whole grains, dairy products. Selenium has antioxidant effects and its supplementation is useful in the treatment of MS. A study shows the potential of balancing biochemical abnormalities in MS patients with selenium. Another study shows selenium, that contains antioxidant enzymes, is active in reducing oxidized molecules in the body.
Calcium: A proper intake of calcium is important to maintain healthy bones and teeth. It is also responsible for the regulation of various vital processes of the body. People with MS are observed to have an increased risk of bone loss so the intake of an adequate amount of calcium is very crucial.
However, high dosage of calcium can result in toxic effects, to avoid it calcium intake should not exceed 2000 mg per day for people above 50 years of age and 2500 mg for people above 19 years of age.
Zinc: Zinc is used by the body in multiple different processes. Some studies have shown that people who suffer from MS have either low levels of zinc or the opposite. This means that zinc works to activate the immune system but supplementation can worsen the condition. A high intake of zinc can also lead to a copper deficiency.
Another largely experimental treatment for MS is stem cell therapy. Learn more about the potential of stem cells treatment for Multiple Sclerosis here.