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While sun exposure and vitamin D3 help with multiple sclerosis, tanning booths may create problems February 15, 2012

Posted by Rebecca Hoover in Supplements - what you need to minimize MS symptoms, Uncategorized.
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3 comments

Ouch! While sunshine seems to help prevent MS and prevent relapses, tanning booths are risky and may increase your chances of getting cancer.

Many researchers have found that exposure to sunshine seems to help prevent multiple sclerosis (MS) and sunlight exposure may even help prevent relapses. The same is true for vitamin D3.

Unfortunately, tanning booths may not work so well. First, there is no evidence that the greater proportion shorter ultraviolet light waves in tanning booths has the same beneficial effects as natural sunlight. Also, scientists believe that the higher proportion of shorter ultraviolet light waves may be increasing cancer risks. You can read more about this in a report entitled A photobiological evaluation of tanning booths.

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Natural sunlight has many benefits when not overdone including even lifting your mood and contributing to sound sleep at night. The same cannot be said for tanning booths which may help cause more cancer. It is wise to stick with natural sunlight exposure and vitamin D3.

Viva la healthy living!

Please let me know if you find my blog helpful. Please add a comment. What did you like? What would you like added? Thanks! Together we can change the way the world views MS. Please also join the Intelligent Guide to MS page on Facebook. I will use that page to make timely posts on new research and other issues likely to be of interest to others.

Please remember to consult your with doctors about how to stay as healthy as possible. Nothing here should be interpreted as medical advice. Instead, please use the information you find here in your discussions with your doctor.

Copyright 2012 Rebecca Hoover

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Vitamin D deficiency is epidemic but Vitamin D may help prevent MS relapses November 16, 2009

Posted by Rebecca Hoover in Supplements - what you need to minimize MS symptoms.
6 comments
Loves Vitamin D3 for strength and bone building - so sizzling!

Recovering from a Vitamin D deficiency makes you this happy. Vitamin D3 rocks!

Can Vitamin D help prevent multiple sclerosis (MS)? The evidence certainly seems to point in that direction. MS is rare where people get adequate Vitamin D. Even more exciting, Vitamin D may turn out to be central in treating multiple sclerosis.

One study reported in 2009 compared MS patients who took 14,000 I.U. of Vitamin D3 each day with those who took only 1,000 I.U. of the vitamin. The group taking 14,000 I.U. of Vitamin D3 cut their relapse rate by 41% compared with only 17% for those taking the lower dose. The 41% is amazing! This beats the MS drugs such as the interferons — they reduce the frequency by about 30%. At the same time, studies have shown Vitamin D3 is safe!

It is no wonder the Australian MS society has now issued an advisory recommending one very high dose of Vitamin D3 for MS patients who have low levels of Vitamin D3 in their bodies. That society now recommends that a one time dose of 500,000 I.U. be used, when appropriate, to increase levels of Vitamin D in those with MS.

Medical journals are filled with articles about the current Vitamin D deficiency epidemic both in the United State and Europe, and some researchers have found that 60% of those with MS have a Vitamin D deficiency. A Vitamin D deficiency is very problematic for those with MS because many researchers have long believed a Vitamin D shortage helps cause MS and some researchers have long believed adequate levels of Vitamin D may help prevent MS relapses. Also, a shortage of Vitamin D causes weakness — which is the last thing someone with MS needs.

If you have MS and you feel weak, your problem might not be MS but a Vitamin D deficiency. What should you do?

You can ask your doctor to test the amount of Vitamin D in your blood. This simple test can help prevent all kinds of problems. Scientists believe Vitamin D not only plays a role in MS, it also helps prevent cancer, heart attacks and bone loss.

Some experts believe that your Vitamin D level should at the high end of the normal range between 50 and 60 ng/ml (or about 200 nmol/L if the nmol/L scale is used) . Others believe a lower amount will do but why take a chance when you have MS. Those who believe the smaller amount will suffice are not experts in the treatment of MS.

Do be careful because, while overdoses are rare, you can get too much Vitamin D.  A reasonable dose might be between 1,000 and 2,000 I.U. of Vitamin D3 (not D2 which does not absorb well) per day but this varies by person and it is unlikely this low amount will be enough. This amount, for example, is not enough for me. If I take only 2,000 I.U. of Vitamin D3, my blood level of Vitamin D3 begins falling. I have to take between 3,000 I.U. and 4,000 I.U. to keep my blood level of Vitamin D stable and research shows that this amount is required for many persons. Currently, I take between 4,000 I.U. and 5,000 I.U. each day. Many experts believe that those with MS need to watch their Vitamin D levels very carefully and to keep this level at the higher end of the normal range.

It is important to talk to your doctor, have your level tested and monitor your Vitamin D level. A test every three to six months for a few years and then once a year will give you the information you need to learn to regulate your Vitamin D level. Also, please remember that Vitamin D3 is a fat soluble vitamin so it should be taken with some fat from olive oil, fish oil. sunflower seeds, walnuts, etc. A half teaspoon of oil, a tablespoon of sunflower seeds or a few half walnuts of fat is sufficient.

If you are one of the 60% of those with MS who have a Vitamin D shortage, just this one simple thing is going to make you feel better. Best of all, some scientists think enough Vitamin D will help prevent relapses as mentioned above. You can also get Vitamin D3 by spending time in the sun with your arms, legs and face exposed (use no sunscreen). Ten to 15 minutes per day at noon (when the sun is most direct) is all that is needed for a fair-skinned person; more for a darker person. Do avoid burning, though, because that can lead to cancer.

Also, when you start taking Vitamin D3 supplements or spending time in the sun, please be patient. It takes at least three to six months to increase the blood level of Vitamin D to the desired range. If you want faster results, some doctors recommend the mega dose now recommended by the Australian MS society.

Please let me know if you find my blog helpful. Please add a comment. What did you like? What would you like added? Thanks! Together we can change the way the world views MS. Please also join the Intelligent Guide to MS page on Facebook. I will use that page to make timely posts on new research and other issues likely to be of interest to others.

Please remember to consult with your doctors about how to stay as healthy as possible. Nothing here should be interpreted as medical advice. Instead, please use the information you find here in your discussions with your doctor.

Copyright 2009 Rebecca Hoover

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Tags: Class, Fatigue, MS, Multiple Sclerosis, Prevent, Relapses, Science, Sizzle, Vitamin D

Fish oil makes you sexy and helps prevent MS relapses February 12, 2009

Posted by Rebecca Hoover in Supplements - what you need to minimize MS symptoms.
2 comments
Has unbelievably soft skin because she takes fish oil and eats right.

Want unbelievably soft skin? Try fish oil and eat right. This helps beat MS too.

Some studies have shown that fish oil helps reduce the number of MS relapses and the severity of MS symptoms. Even better, taking fish oil which includes Omega-3 fatty acids is likely to help make you sexy. If you combine the fish oil supplements with a healthy low-fat diet, your skin is going to become much more attractive. Women, your skin will become softer than you ever remember. Men, the fish oil will make you look vibrant. (I recommend the Swank MS Diet by Dr. Roy Swank and information on it is available free by borrowing his book from a public library using an interlibrary loan if needed.)

How much fish oil should you take? Some experts recommend 3 grams or 3,000 milligrams of fish oil each day and this amount includes about 900 milligrams of Omega-3 fatty acids. But, more recently studies show that fish oil becomes increasingly beneficial when up to five servings of fish are eaten each week. This is equivalent to about 15 grams or 15,000 milligrams of Omega-3 fatty acids per week (3,000 milligrams for each of five days) or about 45 to 50 grams of fish oil per week. If one capsule has 1 gram (1,000 milligrams) of fish oil, you would need to take about seven (7) capsules per day to have this amount.

Professor George Jelinek, M.D., who is considered an MS expert by many, recommends even more fish oil than this amount. He recommends about 20 grams (20,000 millligrams) of fish oil each day for about 6 grams of Omega-3s.  Personally, I find this amount to be overwhelming. I am a small person, however, so this may be the reason I get an upset stomach when taking as much fish oil as Dr. Jelinek recommends. I do take the equivalent of about 12 grams of fish oil each day or about 3 grams of Omega-3s. Based on Dr. Jelinek’s recommendations, I may increase this to about 16 grams of fish oil each day or about 4 grams of Omega-3s.

Of course, you can get part of your fish oil by eating oily fish such as salmon, trout or sardines. This is what I do. Be sure to spread your consumption of fish oil over several days during the week. Taking 28,000 milligrams of Omega-3 fatty acids on just one day is not as effective as taking about 4,000 milligrams for each of seven (7) days.

A tip on swallowing fish oil capsules is in order. Fish oil capsules are a bit larger than most supplement capsules, and the easiest way to swallow them is to store them in the freezer and swallow them one at a time while they are frozen. I keep my capsules in an open dish in the freezer and simply grab the number needed. Also, do take fish oil supplements with meals because taking fish oil (or any oil) on an empty stomach can cause an upset stomach. Likewise, you will probably want to avoid taking too much fish oil at any one time — the 20 gram daily dose can be broken down into three small doses taken throughout the day.

I like to think the new emphasis on healthy eating with MS is going to make for a new club: MS Hotties!

Best wishes all. We do need some humor occasionally. After you’ve tried a combination of an improved diet like the Swank diet and fish oil supplements, please let us know what you think.

Please let me know if you find my blog helpful. Please add a comment. What did you like? What would you like added? Thanks! Together we can change the way the world views MS. Please also join the Intelligent Guide to MS page on Facebook. I will use that page to make timely posts on new research and other issues likely to be of interest to others.

Please remember to consult with your doctors about how to stay as healthy as possible. Nothing here should be interpreted as medical advice. Instead, please use the information you find here in your discussions with your doctor.

Copyright 2008 Rebecca Hoover

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Tags: Beat, Fish Oil, MS, Multiple Sclerosis, Prevent, Relapses, Sex, Supplements

Why those with MS must ensure they get enough Vitamin B12 February 8, 2009

Posted by Rebecca Hoover in Supplements - what you need to minimize MS symptoms.
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Took a little Vitamin B12 - now jumps over tall buildings for lunch.

Took a little Vitamin B12 -- now jumps over tall buildings for lunch.

For some reason, those with MS often run short of Vitamin B12 just as they often experience Vitamin D deficiencies. This can make their neurological symptoms worse and make life more than a little miserable.

The problems with Vitamin B12 deficiencies are often overlooked, however, because the symptoms caused by a Vitamin B12 deficiency are the same symptoms that are caused by MS. In fact, doctors cannot tell the difference between MS symptoms and Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms without a simple blood test for Vitamin B12 deficiency.  Even so, some doctors neglect to monitor Vitamin B12 levels in their MS patients.

This failure to monitor B12 levels is not wise because many experts recommend that Vitamin B12 levels be monitored in all MS patients and warn that Vitamin B12 shortages in MS patients make MS more severe than it would otherwise be.

It is a good idea to have your Vitamin B12 level checked by your doctor and to take a B12 supplement if needed. (I try to keep my Vitamin B12 at the high end of the normal range.) These supplements are relatively inexpensive — mine cost less than $5 for a three month supply.  A few people do need injections.

By the way, there is no need to spend money on sublingual Vitamin B12 supplements (sublingual means the tablets are held under the tongue until dissolved). Research shows that the tablets that are swallowed work just as well as the sublingual tablets.

Please let me know if you find my blog helpful. Please add a comment. What did you like? What would you like added? Thanks! Together we can change the way the world views MS. Please also join the Intelligent Guide to MS page on Facebook. I will use that page to make timely posts on new research and other issues likely to be of interest to others.

Please remember to consult with your doctors about how to stay as healthy as possible. Nothing here should be interpreted as medical advice. Instead, please use the information you find here in your discussions with your doctor.

Copyright 2009 Rebecca Hoover

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Tags: Beat, MS, Multiple Sclerosis, Nutrition, Science, Sublingual, Supplements, Vitamin B12

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