Multiple Sclerosis and Intestinal Health: What You Need to Know

Billions of bacteria, fungi and other organisms live in your digestive system. Known as your gut microbiome, these microbes usually live together peacefully to aid digestion, immunity, and overall health. However, if a drastic change in diet occurs, it can upset the balance of the intestinal microbiome and affect your health, putting you at risk for developing some diseases, such as multiple sclerosis (MS).

Research has consistently found that people with MS have significantly different intestinal microbiomes that do not have the disease, although it is not fully understood what this means for people with MS. Here’s what the researchers know.

The link between Gut Health and MS

The relationship between the intestine and MS is complex, according to J. William Lindsey, MD, director of the Multiple Sclerosis and Neuroimmunology Division at the Texas Health Sciences Center in Houston. “It involves interactions between diet, nutritional status, intestinal bacteria, and immune system activity,” he explains.

How does all this fit together?

To begin with, “diet affects the nutritional status, and also changes the composition and activity of bacteria in the intestinal microbiome,” says Dr. Lindsey.

This disruption of intestinal bacteria can cause a chain reaction. “The microbiome can affect the activity of white blood cells in the gut, and these white blood cells can migrate to other parts of the body, including the brain,” Lindsey said. “The microbiome also produces metabolites, such as short-chain fatty acids and altered bile acids that enter the bloodstream and affect the activity of the immune system.”

Because MS is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system, these disruptions, which lead to an increase in intestinal proinflammatory bacteria, are thought to affect the condition.

Can Changing Intestinal Bacteria Change the Route of MS?

Maintaining a healthy diet can affect the gut microbiome. And the findings of several small studies in humans and mice suggest that a healthy diet may reduce MS disease activity, especially in combination with disease-altering therapy and other healthy lifestyle habits.

However, these are not definitive studies – more research is needed to help change the gut microbiome of the diet and shed light on the role that MS manages.

MS-Friendly Diet Tips to Promote Gut Health

Regardless of what we know (and still don’t know) about the link between intestinal microbiome and MS, research has shown that taking measures to eat a healthy diet is considered an important part of an overall MS management plan. “And a healthy diet can lead to a healthier microbiome,” Lindsey added. However, studies are limited by focusing on MS results, and there are not many analyzes to respond to the composition of the microbiome in particular diet.

Although there are no specific dietary guidelines for MS, the same diet plans that support cardiovascular health and are known to promote healthy aging (such as DASH and Mediterranean diets) are also good for MS, Lindsey explained.

This means eating a focused diet:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Legumes
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Healthy fats

And limiting:

Can Probiotics Help?

The terms “intestinal health” and “probiotic” are often interlinked. That’s because increasing your intake of “good” probiotics or bacteria can help reduce intestinal inflammation. Unmanaged inflammation is the cause of an overactive immune response.

Research has shown that consuming probiotics can help prevent MS. And for people who develop MS, probiotics can help reduce their severity, delay progression, and improve some MS symptoms. Even more extensive and extensive research is needed on this subject.

Probiotics can be found in fermented foods such as:

  • Kefir
  • Kimtxia
  • Kombucha
  • Miso
  • Pickles
  • Sauerkraut
  • Tempeh
  • Yogurt

Probiotics also come as a supplement to people who don’t care about the sour taste and yeast from food sources. Of course, only certain strains Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium They have been shown to be beneficial for MS.

It is important to note that probiotic supplements are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration; so consult your doctor before supplying. Since the link between the intestinal microbiome and MS is not yet fully understood, it is best to exercise caution. That said, it would probably be nice to have all the kimchi and yogurt you like for dinner.

Leave a Comment