Multiple Sclerosis

Short video about Multiple Sclerosis and Food


Multiple Sclerosis and Autoimmune Diseases: The Impact of Diet – John McDougall, MD


Published on 6 Nov 2013

Multiple Sclerosis and Autoimmune Diseases: The Impact of Diet presented by John McDougall, MD at Northwest VEG’s Enhancing Health with Plant-Based Nutrition medical conference on September 20, 2013.

John McDougall, MD is a physician and nutrition expert who teaches better health through vegetarian cuisine. He has been studying, writing and “speaking out” about the effects of nutrition on disease for over 30 years. Dr. McDougall believes that people should look great, feel great and enjoy optimal health for a lifetime. He is the author of four best-sellers on reversing chronic disease through diet without drugs.


MD, Vijayshree Yadav on MS



Roy Swank, MD: Multiple Sclerosis Pioneer – Plus a

Conversation with Dr. McDougall



Roy Swank, MD: Multiple Sclerosis Cure (the 5th Estate

TV Show)

  This show aired on May 16, 1989


Dr. Roy L. Swank Memorial – Tom Ryan


The McDougall Research & Education Foundation has funded a study on the dietary treatment of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) with the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland. The Neurology Department of the School of Medicine, headed by Dennis Bourdette, MD and under the supervision of Vijayshree Yadav, MD, enrolled patients in the McDougall Program for intervention with a low-fat vegan diet. This is a single-blind, controlled trial using the latest MRI technologies and neurologic evaluations.


Swank History
Roy Swank
About July 1948, I was offered a five year
long opportunity to investigate Multiple
Sclerosis with adequate financing for my family (wife and two children), and three
months travel to observe others and their work. I was also given full financial
support for my research.
September 1, 1948, I arrived in Montreal and established a home for my family. I
spent the rest of the year examining the MS patients at the Montreal Neurological
Clinic and researched information in the McGill University library. The four
months of intense study of MS led to three possible leads:
Usually the onset of severe attacks developed rapidly.
The onset of most individual attacks suggested vascular origins.
The disease was found worldwide but particularly common in the industrial
During the Second World War several countries in Europe occupied by the
Germans had been deprived of much of their fat because it had been shipped to
Germany. I elected first to go to Western Europe to see if this change in diet had
influenced the frequency of the disease.
In Norway, Professor Monrad Krohn, Chief of Neurology, suggested that he
seldom saw cases of MS from along the coast, where fishing was the primary
industry, but further inland, where farming was the primary industry, and in the
mountains the frequency of MS was more common. He suggested that I see
Julia Backer who was in charge of recording the geographic distribution of the
disease. She was very interested, and the same day we designed a
questionnaire requesting age of onset of MS and its place of onset, among other
things. The questionnaires were sent to all hospitals and neurologists in Norway.
I then traveled to Switzerland where it was known that MS was common where
German was spoken, and rare where Italian was spoken.
Three months later I received a complete report of the Norwegian study. The
existence of MS along the coast was rare (about 1 per 10,000 persons). In the
mountains it was more common (about 9 per 10,000 persons).
Based on these and other figures, food consumption studies were done in these
areas. In the mountains the rural families lived largely on meat, milk, eggs, and
cheese, whereas along the coast, people consumed fish and other food sources
found in the ocean.
The Norwegian study confirmed and amplified our previous impression and led to
our low-fat diet study of MS.
By 1950 we had established the low-fat diet maximum of 10 to 15 grams of
animal saturated fat daily, plus 20 to 40 grams of unsaturated fat (oils). Protein
was largely obtained by eating seafood, plus skim milk. In addition, vegetables,
fruits and grains were consumed.
In 1950 no one had developed a low
fat diet. The problem of developing a diet
based on our results fell to Aagot Grimsgard and myself. She not only developed
a very good diet, but she closely supervised the food consumption of our patients
and saw to it that they closely recorded their food intake.
During the first five years in Montreal we saw and examined 250 patients with
MS. 150 chose to follow the diet and were followed by Aagot, other dieticians,
and myself. Once a year, we traveled to Montreal and spent one month
examining patients and checking their diet. During the next 20 years they were
also contacted every three months by phone and mail, in which they responded
with a record of their diet.
All patients did not follow the diet carefully and records of their diet revealed this.
In 1991 a record of progress was published in Nutrition. 70 of the 150 patients
consumed an average of 17 grams of fat daily, 21% died. Those eating an
average of 30 grams of fat daily, 75% died. And those eating an average of 42
grams of fat daily, 81% died.
In the fall of 2000, I traveled to Canada to see the last 14 patients who we are
still in contact with from the study that began in Montreal in 1950. Two were
unable to walk, but otherwise their body function and mental and communicative
abilities were normal. The remaining 12 were ambulant. Two were weak yet able
to walk and care for themselves and lived alone. The remaining ten patients were
normal physically, mentally, neurologically and very active and normal in
appearance. Their ages varied from 72 to 82 years. We will see two others this



1 thought on “Multiple Sclerosis

  1. Declan Groeger

    I’m not impressed with all the diets that talk of ‘a cure for MS’ I believe that healthy eating is important for all of us. So find a healthy diet that you are happy with and tweak it a bit for your personal circumstances. MS is a very personal disease with no universal path or speed of progression. My advice is to eat healthy, stay as fit as your MS allows and “Live Long and Prosper”

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