Print this page
Page last updated:01-Oct-2013

Program Overview

This is a summary of the extensive research on the various factors shown to have some effect on slowing or stopping the progression of MS, and facilitating MS recovery. I have included references to the research under each of the webpage headings, but here I summarise the whole package. The extensive evidence presented condenses down to the following simple lifestyle and medication program for MS recovery. Embracing this lifestyle, and making the changes with a positive and hopeful outlook provides the best chance of living a long, happy and healthy life, free of the problems usually associated with MS.

The headings are listed in order of importance and potential benefit to help people recover from MS. According to the work of Swank and others, the potential benefit of a very low saturated fat diet is about a 95% reduction in relapse rate, with stability being achieved at about 3-5 years on the diet. Essential fatty acid supplements in their own right, even in the absence of this dietary change, offer the potential of around a 30% reduction. B group vitamins are important for optimal brain function. Adequate sun exposure, with vitamin D supplementation if necessary, offers the potential for the prevention of MS in family members, and also a reduction in new lesions as shown by the seasonal fluctuation in new lesions, with more in winter when there is less sun exposure. Meditation offers benefit for many diseases, with autoimmune disease high on the list. Insurers in the US offer reductions in health insurance premiums for regular meditators, and insurers are well known for their accurate assessment of risk. Exercise has many benefits for health and wellbeing, and seems likely to positively affect the progression of the disease as well. Together, the evidence strongly suggests that these lifestyle changes provide a strong stimulus for recovery for people with MS. While conventional medication maybe associated with some negative side effects, these disease-modifying drugs are likely to provide modest benefit in reducing relapse rates and potentially slowing disease progression. Most neurologists will offer one of these medications; this is fully supported in the OMS approach, in the spirit of doing whatever it takes to remain well and enable recovery from MS.

It is important to realise that this is a lifelong change, not a temporary one. Recovering from MS is possible but it takes time. Deepak Chopra says that a year ago, 98% of the atoms in our bodies weren’t there. They have been added through diet, as they are lost through cell breakdown and degeneration. Our bodies are not static, stable things. So, it takes quite some time to “build a new body” through dietary change, and it takes some time to shift the immune system balance. Mostly, on this Program, people will see a big difference in how they feel within 6-12 months. But full stability on the diet for example, did not happen in Swank’s study until about 3-5 years. And for many people, it takes even longer before they start to see some of their symptoms disappear. This is a lifelong commitment: but the great news is that it is a wonderful way to live, it is very enjoyable, makes you feel great, and has the added bonus of preventing a whole range of other diseases!

The Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis Recovery Program in Summary

Diet and supplements

  • A plant-based wholefood diet plus seafood, with no saturated fat, as far as is practical
  • Omega-3 fatty acid supplements: Start the diet by taking 20g (20mls or 20 caps) a day of standard strength fish oil & some flaxseed oil on your food, gradually replace the fish oil with flaxseed oil over 9 months. On days when oily fish is eaten, omit fish oil supplement. After 9 months you should be taking 20-40mls of flaxseed oil every day
  • Optional B group vitamins or B12 supplement if needed

Vitamin D

  • Sunlight 15 minutes daily 3-5 times a week as close to all over as practical
  • Vitamin D3 supplement of at least 5 000IU daily, adjusted to blood level
  • Aim to keep blood level of vitamin D high, that is between150-225nmol/L (may require up to 10 000IU daily)

Meditation

  • 30 minutes daily

Exercise

  • 20-30 minutes around 5 times a week preferably outdoors

Medication

  • In consultation with your doctor, if a wait and see approach is not appropriate, take one of the disease-modifying drugs (many may not need a drug, and drug selection should be carefully weighed against side effects)
  • Steroids for any acute relapse that is distressing
  • One of the more potent drugs if the disease is rapidly progressive
Back to Top

For a handy print out for your diary that includes the 'Recovery Program' & 'What Not To Eat', and explains the reasoning behind how we evaluate the evidence for the OMS program: