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20 Fish-Free for Life: Why Plant Omega-3s are Better for You and the Environment
For more information on iron see the VVF’s Omega-3s Multiple sclerosis
fact sheet Ironing out the Facts. For some people with arthritis, omega-3 Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease affecting
supplements may be helpful, for example the central nervous system (the brain
Antioxidant action a tablespoon of flaxseed oil twice a day and spinal cord). In MS, the protective
The antioxidant vitamins A, C and E protect (this exceeds the 1-2 teaspoon-a-day sheath called myelin, that surrounds the
against disease (and aging) by ‘mopping up’ recommendation for normal consumption). nerve fibres of the central nervous system
harmful free radicals, produced as your If it is helpful, it is a good idea to try to becomes damaged. This disrupts the
body breaks down food or when it is reduce your intake to the lowest effective messages that pass between the brain and
exposed to harmful chemicals (including dose. other parts of the body. Symptoms include
cigarette smoke). Free radicals play a role blurred vision, paralysis, slurred speech,
in the development of many diseases. Additional treatments lack of coordination and incontinence.
They do this by causing a sequence of events Some arthritis patients have benefited The severity of symptoms depends on
(rather like a line of dominos falling down) from taking a herbal remedy isolated how much damage has occurred.
which can ultimately result in cancer, heart from rose-hips. In one study, the rose-
disease or arthritis. hip remedy reduced pain so much after Around 85,000 people in the UK have MS
just three weeks that patients were able and twice as many women as men are
Anti-rheumatic drugs may work by acting to reduce their intake of painkillers and affected. It can occur at any age, but in
as antioxidants. For example, non-steroidal non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. most cases symptoms appear between
anti-inflammatory drugs act as free radical This result compares favourably with the ages of 20 and 40. Most people with
‘scavengers’ mopping up free radicals. glucosamine, currently the most popular MS suffer attacks followed by periods
However, antioxidants may be more useful supplement for joint health. of recovery. This is why MS is called a
in preventing damage before it occurs, relapsing-remitting condition. It is a life-
rather than treating an already inflamed Summary long condition, but it is not terminal and
joint. A plant-based diet, rich in a wide Losing weight and eating a healthy plant- people with MS can expect to live as long
range of brightly coloured fruit and based diet that includes a good supply of as anyone else.
vegetables (such as sweet potato, red omega-3 fatty acids (either through foods
cabbage, carrots, blueberries and so on) will or algal supplements) and antioxidants can MS is an autoimmune disease whereby
provide an abundance of disease-busting help reduce the symptoms of arthritis and the body’s immune system attacks its
antioxidants that will fight off many diseases, may help some people reduce the amount own tissues. As with other autoimmune
not just arthritis. of medication they are taking. diseases (like rheumatoid arthritis or
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