There have been several studies looking at the relationship between fat in an individual’s diet and its role in causing MS. Whilst some studies have not shown conclusively that fat can cause MS, other research has shown that a low fat diet can slow the progression of the disease quite considerably.
In 1990 Dr Swank from Oregon, USA , published a study looking at the role of fat in the deterioration of MS sufferers. He asserted that MS was caused by a diet high in saturated fat and studied the condition and diet of 144 over MS sufferers over a period of 34 years.
The study showed that 95% of the people who had relapsing-remitting MS but minimal disability and had eaten 20 grams or less of fat a day were still only mildly disabled after 30 years. Most could still walk and some were still able to work. In contrast, people who lapsed back into a high fat diet, even after 5-10 years, reactivated their symptoms and their condition continued to deteriorate.
Overall, the study showed that people who had on average 17 grams of fat a day experienced the lease progression in their disability and a lower death rate. Those who ate more than 25 grams of fat a day dramatically increased in disability and had a death rate that was three times higher than those on lower fat diets.
Dr Swank and Dr Zamboni
Possibly without realizing it, Dr Swank supported Dr Zamboni’s theory that MS is actually caused by narrowing of the veins, or CCSVI. In his study, Dr Swank states that more fat in the diet can cause the veins in the brain to narrow, causing lesions on the brain that result in MS, or MS-like symptoms. It seems that Swank and Zamboni were in agreement in CCSVI, or narrowed veins, being the cause of the symptoms but Swank went further and proposed the cause of CCSVI to be a high fat diet.
Further research over the last 30 years has shown that lessened levels of saturated fat in the diet and higher levels of unsaturated fat, such as sunflower (omega 3 fatty acids) and fish oil (omega 6 fatty acids), can reduce subsequent attacks of MS symptoms. Another study claims that MS sufferers can’t absorb essential fatty acids as well as non-sufferers so should take supplements in their diet.
Additionally, researchers say that saturated fat, such as those found in dairy products, fatty meats, pastries and biscuits should be kept to 10 grams or less a day to prevent further vein blockage.
Although there is no universally accepted explanation for the cause or treatment of MS, independent research shows that the majority of MS cases are in fact due to CCSVI. More and more professionals are turning to the theories of people at the forefront of this area of research.
If you would like to know more about our CCSVI diagnostic or treatment procedures then get in touch by using the form on the right of the screen for a prompt, informative response from a medical representative.