Paleolithic Diet and Multiple Sclerosis

Need another reason love the Paleolithic Diet?  How about reducing the risk of multiple sclerosis (MS) and other auto-immune diseases?  I ran across the following videos on YouTube and found them fascinating.  There has long been associations of certain foods with higher risk of MS, but this guy is actually doing the research and and tying the pieces together.

On October 3 2007 , Direct-MS (http://www.direct-ms.org ) sponsored a public presentation by Dr. Loren Cordain of Colorado State University on the topic of “The Paleo Diet and Multiple Sclerosis”. See below for the video and the YouTube playlist.

What you’ll get from this video (notes I took just now)

Genetics and Environment/Food both are linked with developing Multiple Sclerosis.

Dietary changes suggested for autoimmune benefit from the Paleolithic Diet:

  • AVOID cereal grains (wheat, corn, etc), dairy (milk, cheese, pizza, etc), high-saturated fat meats (hot dogs, sausage, bacon, steak, etc), most vegetable oils,  tomatoes (surprising, even to the presenter), salt, refined sugars, legumes (beans, peas, etc), peanuts.
  • INCREASE Omega-3 fatty acids relative to Omega-6 fatty acids
  • Eat fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and nuts

Theory on Multiple Sclerosis development:

  1. Bacterial infection occurs or we introduce Lectins into our diet
    Various lectins found in wheat, peanuts, legumes (beans), soybeans, and tomatoes get across the gut barrier and into circulation via EGF-R (epidermal growth factor).  Lectins or bacteria in circulation causes an immune response and activate T-Cells.
  2. Immune Response T-Cells Activate (in circulation, but not in the CNS)
    T-Cells must be activated by an “adjuvant” in order to develop immunity.  Lectins like WGA (Wheat Germ Agglutinin) act as that adjuvant.
  3. Activated T-Cells sneak across the Blood Brain Barrier (BBB) to get into the CNS
    Lectins are thought to cause breakdowns in the BBB to allow more T-Cells into the CNS to attack myelin.
  4. Activated T-Cells attack myelin
    Lectins that have crossed the BBB have been shown to stimulate inflammatory cytokines which cause inflammation which damages myelin.  Since these T-Cells have been “programmed” to attack proteins similar to myelin (Lectins), they attack proteins in good myelin.

Dairy products are associated with MS.  He shows that dairy products have been repeatedly associated epidemiologically with developing diseases like Multiple Sclerosis.

Lastly, he presents anecdotal evidence of 4 MS patients who have improved in symptoms after strictly going on the Paleolithic Diet.

If I were to win the lottery, I’d love to help this guy with his research.

Amazingly, the Paleolithic Diet is not only an awesome way to get in great shape, but it’s also a way to optimize metabolism and optimize your immune system.  You automatically avoid many common allergens and reduce inflammation.

Done correctly, you can avoid a host of health problems and get tons of energy in the process.