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Nutrasweet
Too many web sites CLAIM that Nutrasweet, the brand name of the artificial sweetener Aspertame is to blame for a litany of diseases, including MS.
We have found absolutely nothing to back this up.
Put this one to the bone bed!

For more information, please visit the following web sites:
http://stars.metawire.com/stars/letters/aspartrep.htm
http://urbanlegends.about.com/library/blasp.htm
http://members.tripod.com/~aspartame/eyes.htm

THE FLU SHOT!?!
Viral and bacterial infections CAN trigger an MS attack.
To fight bacteria WASH, WASH, WASH your hands.
As for viral infections, like the flu, only those who have trouble breathing or have upper limb weakness are recommended for the shot.
As MS is a chronic condition… there is NO CHARGE. Go to the free flu clinics.

HERBAL MEDICINES and VITAMINS
Be CAREFUL! More than 80% of drugs on the market came from chemicals found in plants. So don't be fooled that something so 'natural' is safe.
Many chemicals found in herbs may be toxic and interact poorly with drugs.
Herbs are NOT recommended for pregnant women, people with multiple medical problems, or those who take multiple medications.
Talk to your doctor before self-medicating with a 'natural' substance.

ECHINACEA
This herb stimulates the immune system. Great for the average person fighting a cold… BUT those with MS have an aggressive immune system, and certainly don't need any more stimulation! Click here for more information.

ST. JOHN'S WORT
Patients with MS may experience depression and St. John's Wort is an herb that appears to have antidepressant effects. Many clinical studies are underway and until they are completed it IS known that this herb interacts with many MS medications including amitriptyline, carbamazepine, imipramine, nortriptyline, phenytoin, phenobarbital, and primidone.

CRANBERRY
Cranberry has a long history of use to treat or prevent UTI, urinary tract infections. Some clinical studies indicate it may be effective for preventing UTI but it's not yet definitive. The only known adverse effects are diarrhea and other gastrointestinal symptoms if more than 3 litres of juice is consumed in a day. While it may prevent UTI, there is no reason to believe that Cranberries CURE it.

GINKGO BILOBA
In 1997 an article was published stating the benefits of Ginkgo for treating dementia in elderly patients. Ginkgo has anti-oxidant properties and inhibits blood clotting and inflammations. Two studies done since then on MS patients found that the herb was not effective in stopping or reducing exacerbations. Its effect on cognitive dysfunction has not been studied as of yet.
The concerns about this herb include spontaneous bleeding in the brain and eye.
It is to be AVOIDED for those who take blood thinners, have blood disorders or are scheduled for any type of surgery.

VALERIAN
The root of this plant is said to be effective for insomnia. However, as it may cause excessive sedation, this is a nasty herb for people with MS who find it difficult to fight that enduring fatigue.

VITAMINS
Daily supplements in recommended doses are fine. Don't make the mistake that if a few are good, then lots must be better. Within the MS community it was believed that as Vitamin B was beneficial for the nervous system, then it was good to take large doses. The OPPOSITE is true!
Nervous system injury may occur if the intake of Vitamin B6 is deficient OR excessive.

ANTI-OXIDANTS
The antioxidant vitamins including A, C and E are claimed to be effective therapies for MS. In fact, there is suggestive evidence that free-radical-induced oxidative damage is increased in MS patients and that oxidative damage plays a role in myelin injury. There is no clinical proof yet and more studies are needed. Until then, anti-oxidants, whether as vitamins or grape-seed extracts are not recommended for those with MS.

VITAMIN D and CALCIUM
A 6-month study of MS patients treated with Vitamin D revealed no change in the course of the disease and did not reduce the disease activity. However, it is increasingly recognized that those with MS appear to have decreased bone density and therefore are more prone to a bone fracture. This could be due to reduced physical activity. A daily recommended dose of Vitamin D or increased calcium-rich foods in the diet may be needed.

Here are some links in regards to lack of Vitamin D (from the sun), depression and immune suppression:



 

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