Omega-3's & Multiple Sclerosis | The Paleo Diet®
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Omega-3's & Multiple Sclerosis

By Loren Cordain, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Founder of The Paleo Diet
January 19, 2010
Omega-3's & Multiple Sclerosis image

As a MS patient for 5 years, I have been following the Swank diet (or the Judy Graham's approach to the Swank diet) since the beginning. Meaning that I am in a low fat diet with a high intake of Omega 6 (2-3 gr. of Primrose Oil daily) and Omega 3 (1 gr. of Fish Oil daily). As a Spanish person, I also take lots of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (as salad dressing or cooking oil). I did not take milk or dairy in all these years. I swim half hour every week. The result is that my lesions are inactive, I have had just one MS episode in the last three years but, on the other side, I suffer of great fatigue and I get very tired after walking short distances. And I hardly can stand stressing situations.

Your conference in Youtube made me buy your book and I have started following the Paleo diet. My question is if I am doing the right thing taking that amount of vegetable oils. I understood (in the video part 3) that lots of Omega 6 and few Omega 3 could be inflammatory and is not recommended for autoimmune diseases. But in my case I think that is helping to feel better (I have felt worse when I have stopped taking it for several weeks).

Do you have any recommendation for me?

Cordially,

Andrés

Maelán Fontes' Response:

Hi Andrés,

Yes, you are right. We think that a high intake of vegetable oils (specially omega-6 linoleic acid), probably, is not the best approach for inflammatory conditions. However, Primrose Oil is a good source of GLA, a precursor of anti-inflammatory substances namely PGE1.

Perhaps 2-3 grams of Primrose Oil is too much and 1 gram of Fish Oil is not enough. For an inflammatory disease we recommend to take 2 grams EPA+DHA/day.

Regarding your fatigue symptoms, you don't necessarily have to stick to a low-fat diet when treating MS, and muscles should be well adapted to burn fat. One of the causes of chronic fatigue is fatty acid deficiency, so we encourage you to eat good fat sources such as oily fish, olive oil, coconut oil (a good source of Medium Chain Triglycerides for your muscles and keeps harmful bacteria under control) and nuts (macadamia and walnuts).

A paleolithic-type diet will provide you the adequate amount and balance between the different fatty acids.

On the other side, you may be aware of the importance of gut permeability on MS patients, so the paleo diet will help you treating this part of the story.

I hope this is helpful,

Best wishes,
Maelán Fontes Villalba - MS Ph.D. candidate in Medical Sciences at Lund University, Sweden

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