Continuing our discussion of MS and Diet, today’s topic surrounds the Best Bet Diet and the MS Recovery Diet. Each feature the elimination of foods which may cause allergic reactions and adhering to more Paleolithic Diet.
DIRECT-MS and Best Bet Diet
DIRECT-MS, short for DIet REsearch into the Cause and Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis, is a charity which was formed in 1998 by families affected by MS. After his son developed MS in 1995, Ashton Embry, Ph.D. delved into the scientific literature to find the most likely cause of MS and to develop an effective treatment for his son, the result being the Best Bet Diet.
Best Bet Diet Nutritional Protocol:
1. Eat fruits and vegetables for carbohydrates and micro-nutrients
2. Eat fish and skinless breast of chicken and turkey, for protein
3. Eat extra virgin olive oil for fats
4. Avoid all dairy, grains (except rice), legumes
5. Avoid all allergenic foods, which are identified by skin and ELISA tests
6. Avoid all red meat and margarine
1. Grape seed extract 2 capsules
2. Vitamin D3 2000 IU in summer and 4000 IU in winter
3. Calcium 1200 mg
4. Vitamin A 5000 IU
5. 10 grams salmon oil (3 grams of Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids)
6. Vitamin B-complex 50 mg
6a. Folic Acid 1 g
7. Vitamin B-12 500 mcg
8. Vitamin C 1000 mg
9. Vitamin E 400 IU
10. Magnesium 600 mg
11. Zinc 25 mg
12. Copper 1-2 mg
13. Selenium 200 mcg
14. Manganese 20 mg
15. up to 5 g of evening primrose oil or borage oil
16. Acidophilus 4 capsules
17. Enzymes 4 capsules
18. Lecithin 500 - 1000 mg
19. Ginkgo biloba 120 mg
20. Co-enzyme Q10 60 mg
The Best Bet Diet Group
The BBD support group is hosted by Multiple Sclerosis Resource Centre, a charity in the United Kingdom. This website contains a great deal of information regarding Ashton Embry and the Best Bet Diet, including a forum for patients on the diet who share support, information, and recipes with each other. (Note: The website is currently under reconstruction as of August 24, 2009.)
Basically, Ashton Embry's Best Bet Diet (BBD) works on two fronts.
1. To stop, or at least restrict, the consumption of foods whose molecular structure is so similar to the myelin in our own bodies that they could ignite the autoimmunity process and cause an attack on the myelin in the CNS. These "suspect" foods are as follows with recommended replacements:
- Dairy - Avoid all animal milks, and all butters, cheeses, and yoghurts made from them, and all products that contain them. Where appropriate, replace in the diet with rice milk or low fat coconut milk, both of which are widely available on the supermarket shelves these days.
- Gluten - Avoid all wheat, rye and barley, and all products containing them. It is advised that oats are also avoided despite new research suggesting they contain no gluten. For our purposes, they are still regarded as a "modern" grain, added to the diet only in recent times, and the chances of avoiding autoimmune reactions is greater without them. These "suspect" grains are replaced in the diet with rice, corn, quinoa and a whole range of other grains/flours that are both gluten-free and widely available these days.
- Legumes - Avoid all beans, peas and pulses, especially soya, and all products containing them. All other vegetables are allowed, in particular the green leafy ones, like spinach and broccoli that are high in omega 3 EFA.
- Refined sugar is also avoided, wherever possible, because it can make the leaky gut worse and can also adversely affect the immune system. More acceptable alternative sweeteners are honey, maple syrup, fruit sugar (fructose) and stevia.
- Eggs and Yeast are both allowed in limited quantities as long as the individual shows no specific allergic reaction to them.
In general, those following this approach enjoy a diet based primarily on the breast of chicken or turkey, fish, game meats and beef from cattle that have been fed exclusively on grass. The diet is also low in saturated fat and aims to achieve a far healthier balance of omega 6 - omega 3 fats than is normal in today's western society, where the condition is now rife.