What is MS? Multiple sclerosis (MS), also known as “disseminated sclerosis” or “encephalomyelitis disseminata”, is an inflammatory disease in which the fatty myelin sheaths around the axons of the brain and spinal cord are damaged, leading to demyelination and scarring as well as a broad spectrum of signs and symptoms. Disease onset usually occurs in young adults, and it is more common in women.
Of course, all aspects of a diet filled with rich foods can cause problems, but animal fats—especially those from dairy products—have been the most closely linked to the development of MS. One theory suggests that feeding cow’s milk to infants lays the foundation for nervous system injury later in life. Cow’s milk has only one-fifth as much linoleic acid (an essential fatty acid) as human breast milk. Linoleic acid makes up the building blocks for nervous tissues. It may be that children raised on a high animal-fat diet deficient in linoleic acid (as most children are in our society) develop a weaker nervous system that is susceptible to problems as they age. Analysis of brain tissues has shown that people with MS have a higher saturated fat content in their brains than people without the disease.
For example, during World War II, food was scarce and stress was high in occupied Western Europe. People could no longer afford to eat meat, so they turned instead to the grains and vegetables that once nourished their cows, chickens, and pigs. The result was a dramatic reduction in the intake of animal products and of total fat in the diet. Doctors observed that patients with MS had 2 to 2-1/2 times fewer hospitalizations during the war years.
A great way to start eating healthier is to “veganize” your foods. I.E. if a recipe calls for butter, use Earth Balance non-dairy butters. Same with milk, use soy, almond, or rice milk.