Over the past few years, I have experimented with a number of supplements and have now narrowed down my list to seven essentials. All the information about my MS supplements is available via this page. If you read on, this page will:
- Tell you more about the supplements I currently use and why I take them everyday.
- Help you order your own supplements from Amazon (UK only)
- List some supplements I no longer take and why.
- Explain why taking supplements is needed as part of your MS diet
- Give you tips on how to choose the right nutritional supplements
Let me take this opportunity to say, I am not a medical doctor, and taking supplements should never replace a healthy diet.
My Current MS Supplements
Below, I’ve given you a list of my current supplements and a link to where you can buy them online. For most of the supplements, you’ll also see that I’ve given you a link to a post I’ve written about the benefits of that particular supplement.
Let’s launch into the exciting world of supplements!
This is such an amazingly nutritious supplement and I just can’t start my day without it. I also use BarleyLife by AIM but this is a good alternative if you can’t get hold of it.
Read My Post on why Barley Grass is so healing and nutritious.
Read my post on why flaxseed oil is vital in your recovery from MS.
Methylcobalamin is the neurologically active form of B12. It’s very important for immune system health.
Read my post about this form of vitamin B12 and why it is one of the essential supplements for MS.
Read my post about nerve strengthening with calcium and magnesium.
Vitamin D is an immuno-modulator which means that it keeps the immune system in check and prevents any deviant T-cell behaviour.
Read my post about why Vitamin D is possibly the most important supplement you can take to aid recovery from MS.
Vitamin C: Magnesium Ascorbate Powder (Biocare)
Post coming soon!
Keeping the gut bacteria well-populated with good bacteria is extremely beneficial for staying well with MS. Much of the immune system is situated in the gut and when the gut is doing well, there is less chance of an autoimmune reaction.
Read my post on gut health and why taking probiotics can enhance your gut’s ability to keep you well.
Why Take Supplements?
The first thing I do, after waking each morning, is make my ten month old baby’s bottle of milk and give it to him. Secondly, I trundle to the kitchen to start taking the myriad of MS supplements lining my shelf (yes they take up a whole shelf). They lie waiting to be gulped down so that they can start working their healing magic. They can’t wait to interact with various enzymes, give life to limp cells, reduce inflammation and make me feel energetic and healthy!
If it’s true that you can get all the nutrients you need from consuming a varied and healthy MS diet, then why bother with supplements? Nothing can replace a MS diet rich in raw fruit and vegetables. The right foods contain the perfect mix of vitamins, minerals, fibre, and enzymes and form the basis of our health. However, let’s be honest, our lives are busy and some days we just don’t get around to eating three nutritious meals a day. Even the most health conscious people don’t get it right all the time because of factors beyond their control.
“Supplements fill the gaps.”
MS nutrients are so important to your health and vital to helping improve your condition and reduce the effects of Multiple Sclerosis, as well as “MS fatigue” and go a long way to protect you against symptoms of MS in women. Do you really want to take the chance that you may not eat all, or enough of the foods that provide them, on a particular day? Supplements are there to help you along and fill the gaps and should be taken for all types of Multiple Sclerosis.
Here are a three reasons why taking supplements is an important part of the MS diet and journey to healing:
Reason 1: You might already have a deficiency
It is highly likely that you are deficient in certain vitamins and minerals and taking a supplement helps them get to a healthy level quickly. It also helps them to remain at optimal levels. This is particularly important for people with MS because these deficiencies could very well be contributing to relapses and disease progression.
Reason 2: Higher doses are better
There is also substantial evidence that taking higher than usual doses of certain supplements can result in fewer relapses and slower disease progression. This does not apply to all vitamins and minerals but is certainly the case for Vitamin D and has been proven in a number of studies. Often the recommended daily dose is far below what our bodies need. Definitely do the research before you start taking supplements willy nilly!
Reason 3: A healthy diet might not be enough
Even if we do consume a healthy diet, it still may not provide all the nutrients we need. The soil that fresh produce are grown in is becoming more and more depleted of vitamins and minerals. In addition, fruit and veg are often picked too early and then ripened artificially which further depletes their nutrient supplies. Cherries, for instance, have been found to lose 50% of their vitamin C if picked prematurely. Lastly, cooking and over processing these natural products also depletes them of essential nutrients.
How Do You Choose The Right Nutritional Supplement?
It is an overwhelming task choosing between the myriad of supplements on offer. However, doing a bit of research won’t be a waste of your time! As you can imagine, supplements come in a range of qualities. Generally, the better the quality, the easier it is for your body to absorb. The buzz word here is, ‘bioavailablity‘. This can be defined as, the proportion of a nutrient that can be absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract for use or storage in the body.
When you gulp down a supplement, the active ingredients are released to your stomach and then pass through the small intestine where they should be absorbed into the bloodstream. Poor quality supplements fail during the breakdown of the nutrients in the stomach and virtually no absorption takes place in the small intestine. Studies have shown that many cheap, poor quality supplements go right through the digestive system without being broken down properly and released into the bloodstream. These are obviously a waste of time and money and won’t help give you a proper MS diet.
So how do we distinguish between good and poor quality supplements? You need to look for supplements that are in a form that is bioavailable. High quality supplements are formulated to allow much higher levels of bioavailability than cheaper, mass produced vitamin and mineral products.
This is because they are founded in scientific research and more sophisticated manufacturing processes are used when producing them. This is why they are a bit more expensive but at least they actually do what they say they do. In most cases you really do get what you pay for.
Five Top Tips For Choosing Good Quality MS Supplements
So, to keep this practical, I’ve got 5 tips for you to use to ensure your MS diet gets the best supplements it can:
Look for information on the box that says the supplement is ‘easily absorbed‘ by the body. If you can find the word ‘bioavailable‘, that would be first prize! Some say that capsules are more easily absorbed than tablets but this is not necessarily true and depends on the supplement.
It should clearly state on the supplement box that they are ‘free from‘ artificial preservatives, sweeteners and colourants. They should also be gluten free and free of all animal products. Most supplements will make it clear if they are suitable for vegans and vegetarians.
Do they provide a COA (Certificate Of Analysis)? This certificate is the manufacturer’s guarantee that every batch of product is pure. The more natural and unprocessed, the better. There are supplements that are completely natural and are still complete foods. These are the best type of supplements you can get and your body absorbs pretty much 100% of them. For example, the company AIM produces products such as powdered juice of green barley leaves, carrots and beets which are packed with antioxidants.
Check the dosage and make sure it is not too low or high for what you require. For instance, vitamin B12 comes in a 1mg and a 5mg tablet form. If you are trying to increase your levels quickly, then 5mg may be good for a while but your body won’t need this amount for too long. The smaller dose will then be sufficient to keep B12 at optimum levels.
Lastly, read reviews and get advice before purchasing your supplements. It makes sense to see what others have to say about supplements before you purchase them yourself. Choose someone you can trust and read before you buy.
Once again, please remember, I’m not a doctor so please ensure you consult with a medical professional to see whats right for you – I’m just someone who wants to share what has worked for me!
I hope that showing you what supplements I use has been helpful to you. I’m sure you can find similar products where you live, you dont have to use these ones, they are just the ones I have researched which I feel are the best – which is why I use them myself!
Please let me know about any supplements you take in the comments below!