Is Milk Bad For Multiple Sclerosis Patients & What Else Is Harmful?
Multiple sclerosis is a chronic or a long lasting disease that primarily affects the brain, the optic nerves that supply the eyes and the spinal cord. Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease. The functions of nerves in the central nervous system is to send or transmit the nerve impulses or signals from the brain to different organs and receive the impulses or signals from various organs to the brain. In multiple sclerosis there is damage to the covering of nerves called the myelin sheath. Due to this the nerve impulse signaling system is hampered and leads to various problems and disorientation of the body.
Is Milk Bad For Multiple Sclerosis Patients?
Yes according to the studies, cow’s milk is bad for people with multiple sclerosis. There are certain reasons due to which it must be avoided by the patients. (1)
The main reason is because of certain proteins that are present in the cow’s milk that cause the problems. The two proteins present in the cow’s milk are bovine serum albumin and butyrophilin, because of these proteins the immune system gets activated and causes complications. When an experiment was performed where these same proteins were injected into the body of test animals, lesions were seen to be appearing in the nervous system of these animals. Few proteins that are present in the cow’s milk mimic the protein of myelin that is called as the myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein and this protein is found to be the culprit that leads to the rise in immune response. So this protein when taken through milk leads to increased immune response and hence more damage to the myelin causing demyelination.
Also it is found that many people with multiple sclerosis have lactose intolerance and hence ingestion of milk may lead to side effects like nausea, diarrhea, bloating and cramps in the stomach.
Another reason due to which cow’s milk must be avoided in people with MS is that the milk is high in saturated fat. Saturated fats are strictly avoided in people with MS because they increase the low-density lipoproteins (LDL) that are also known as bad cholesterol. Increased amount of LDL can lead to problems like stroke and myocardial infarction (heart attack).
But on the other hand goat’s milk is found to be beneficial for people with multiple sclerosis.
Goat’s milk is beneficial because the proteins in this milk are easy to digest and has useful minerals like calcium, zinc, copper, magnesium, iron and phosphorus. The fat present in goat’s milk is also easily utilized and it also helps in reducing the amount of triglycerides in the plasma.
What Else Is Harmful For The Multiple Sclerosis Patients?
Other food items which are harmful for people who are suffering from multiple sclerosis-
Gluten- It was noticed that people who suffer with MS and their close family members, most of them suffered from gluten intolerance. So people with MS are advised to have a gluten free diet.
Refined Sugar- Refined sugars are not found to flare up multiple sclerosis yet, but the reason due to which you must avoid them is that refined sugar increases inflammation. Also cutting down refined sugar helps in weight reduction. So these are the two main reasons due to which refined sugars are avoided.
Saturated Fats- Saturated fats are harmful for people with MS because it was noticed that saturated fats lead to worsening of symptoms of multiple sclerosis. However unsaturated fats must not be avoided because they are helpful in maintaining proper brain health.
Diet Drinks- Diet drinks contain caffeine and aspartame and these products can lead to bladder irritation. Patients with MS have bladder problems like urinary incontinence, increased frequency of urination, etc. and hence these drinks are avoided to reduce bladder related problems.
Salty Food Items- It has been observed that people who consume more salt show poor prognosis. This is because of the sodium present in the salt. So limit the amount of salt that you use in your food for better results and improvement.
To sum up, cow’s milk is not good for patients with multiple sclerosis because it contains few proteins that are similar to some proteins present in the myelin sheath. Hence, when cow’s milk is consumed the immune system gets activated and attacks the myelin sheath causing demyelination. This causes worsening of the symptoms of multiple sclerosis.
On the other hand, goat’s milk is good for people with MS. It contains useful minerals and also the proteins present in goat’s milk are easily digestible and are utilized easily.
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