Can You Prevent Multiple Sclerosis with Magnesium?
Posted on March 01 2019
What is Multiple Sclerosis?
Multiple Sclerosis, or MS, is an autoimmune disease that directly impacts the central nervous system. MS, a chronic disease, attacks the protective covering of the nerves known as myelin, leading to inflammation and permanent damage.
Myelin works to transmit nerve impulses through the nerve fibers, and when MS damages the myelin, the nerve impulses can be interrupted, resulting in a host of unpredictable symptoms ranging from vision problems to extreme fatigue, painful neuropathy, lack of physical coordination, and cognitive impairment.
There are four clinical types of MS. Some patients experience a steady progression of their symptoms, while others experience periodic, unpredictable flare-ups
What are Common Causes of MS?
Right now, researchers don't know exactly what causes MS. It's believed to triggered by a combination of environmental and genetic factors, although MS is not inherited, it is a chronic disease.
Because MS is most prevalent in countries located far from the equator like Canada, Denmark, and the United Kingdom, it's thought that a lack of Vitamin D may be a factor. Other possible causes include smoking, childhood obesity, and exposure to the Epstein-Barr virus.
Multiple Sclerosis can develop at any age, however, it's most commonly diagnosed in adults aged 20 to 49, and women are about three times more likely to have MS than men.
What are the Symptoms of MS?
While each person living with MS experiences different symptoms that vary in both duration and intensity, the most common MS symptoms include:
- Fatigue, muscle weakness, and muscle spasms
- Painful tingling and numbness throughout the body
- Urinary and fecal incontinence
- Difficulty speaking and swallowing
- Memory loss
- Depression, anxiety, and sexual dysfunction
- Temporary loss of balance and vision
Many people with MS will only experience a few of these symptoms, while others will have a number of MS-related physical, emotional, and phycological symptoms stemming from damage to the nervous system.
What is the Role of Magnesium Deficiency in MS?
Magnesium is an essential mineral that is found in a wide variety of foods such as green leafy vegetables, nuts, legumes, and oily seafood. The relationship between adequate magnesium intake and nerve health has been well established, and researchers are now exploring the connection between muscle spasms experienced by MS patients and magnesium deficiency.
Can Magnesium be Used to Prevent or Cure MS?
While researchers have yet to find a way to prevent or cure MS, some MS patients have found that taking magnesium supplements have helped reduce the severity and duration of their symptoms.
A study published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, supports the idea that dietary magnesium supplementation may be beneficial for MS patients. The study participants reported experiencing fewer than half the number of MS exacerbations (such as muscle spasms) while taking the supplements when compared to their personal history of MS exacerbations prior to magnesium supplementation.
These results led the researchers to conclude that magnesium is "important in the development, structure and stability of myelin".
Is There a Specific Way to Take Magnesium Supplements That Might Help Improve Symptoms of MS?
The ideal way to optimize uptake and maximize the potential benefits of magnesium supplementation for patients with MS is by using pharmaceutical grade magnesium chloride that is simply dissolved in water or any other beverage. Adding Epsom Salt (magnesium sulfate) to a foot soak or bath may also be an option for MS patients who can safely tolerate warm water, while topical Magnesium Oil Spray takes advantage of the fact that magnesium is readily absorbed through the skin.
If you'd like to see if magnesium supplementation can provide you with relief from your MS symptoms, be sure to explore our assortment of high-quality magnesium products here at Greenway Biotech.