Impact of Dietary Antigens on Multiple Sclerosis

Tagged:  

MULTIPLE sclerosis
DIET in disease
ANTIGENS
DEMYELINATION
MYELIN sheath -- Diseases
DIETETICS

Abstract:Background: Current research provides evidence to support the theory that a diet restricting foods considered to have high antigenic potential might be beneficial in the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS). Grains, legumes and dairy foods may have high antigenic potential and could be contributing environmental factors in genetically susceptible people. Design: Literature review. Methods: An Internet search of the National Library of Medicine and discussions with colleagues. Results: One of the largest challenges that MS researchers face today is to find treatments that have positive clinical effects and yet are non-toxic. A host of epidemiological, animal and clinical data support the theory that the manipulation of dietary factors may possess potential for a positive effect upon the progression of MS. A variety of data indicate that food proteins and lectins from dairy, gluten, and legumes found in a Neolithic and in a modern diet, can be involved in the activation and expansion of autoreactive T cells by several mechanisms. These mechanisms vary from direct activation of T cells and immune components, to indirect activation by increasing intestinal permeability (leaky gut syndrome), peripheral antigenic stimulation, and the propensity for molecular mimicry. In particular, a milk protein (butyrophilin) has now been identified that may be triggering MS due to cross-reactivity, or molecular mimicry, with a myelin protein. Additionally, serum vitamin D levels, which were much higher on average in our Paleolithic ancestors, are observationally correlated to a reduction in MS lesion activity and may play an important role in the treatment of MS. The administration of vitamin D to animals has resulted in complete regression of the animal model of the disease. A protein in milk (bovine serum albumin) has molecular mimicry with the vitamin D-binding protein, and may interfere with vitamin D absorption. Conclusion: It is theorized that incorporation of a diet that...

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