Multiple Sclerosis
The Gluten File

According to some researchers and a growing number of patients,  dietary changes can be a key component to treating or preventing MS.  Complete avoidance of gluten grains (wheat, barley, rye), cow's milk protein, and legumes are the major dietary recommendations.  Direct-MS is a website that fully discusses this approach.

DIRECT - MS Website

Direct-MS: Multiple Sclerosis - Best Bet Treatment

Direct-MS: YouTube Foods to Reduce

Direct-MS Webcast Presentations :
Presented by: Dr. Terry L. Wahls, MD
Potential Therapeutic Characteristics of Pre-agricultural Diets in the Prevention and Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis . This presentation is narrated by Dr Loren Cordain of the Colorado State University. Dr Cordain is a world renowned expert on health and the original human diet and is the author of the “Paleo Diet” and “The Paleo Diet for Athletes”. He explains how returning to a diet based on lean meats, seafood, fruits and vegetables can prevent and help treat MS and other diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis and Crohn’s Disease.

Prospects for Vitamin D Nutrition. This discussion is narrated by Reinhold Vieth of the departments of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Mount Sinai Hospital and Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, University of Toronto.
Dr. Vieth addresses the topics of:
Vitamin D and Human Evolution
Clinical relevance of higher vitamin D intakes
Toxicology of Vitamin D
Preventing Multiple Sclerosis  The focus of the Prevention presentation is how MS can be easily, safely and inexpensively prevented by focusing on protective factors. This is a must see for those people with MS who have children.
Nutritional Strategies for Controlling Multiple Sclerosis, This presentation addresses diet and MS. It presents the probable causes of MS and how to effectively control those elements. A review of the protective factors and how to incorporate them into your lifestyle are also covered. (Discussion of Food Proteins begins at slide 27) 

Studies say there is about a 5-10% rate of misdiagnosis for MS. Two possible misdiagnoses are B12 deficiency and Gluten Sensitivity/Celiac DiseaseLyme Disease is another potential misdiagnosis. It is not rare to see these conditions overlapping. Every person who has or is flirting with a MS diagnosis should be tested for these things, as some of these other things are quite treatable if caught early enough.

PubMed Abstracts:

Gluten-related disorders are a spectrum of systemic immune mediated conditions that occur at any age in genetically susceptible individuals upon ingesting gluten. Celiac disease and gluten sensitivity are the most important conditions of the spectrum. They may be associated with other autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis and neuromyelitis optica. Treatment with a gluten-free diet can provide considerable benefits to the patients having both a gluten-related disorder and one of these 2 demyelinating diseases of the central nervous system.
[Gluten-related disorders and demyelinating diseases].
PMID: 22998972

CONCLUSIONS: We have found an increased prevalence of CD in 8 of the 72 MS patients (11.1%) and also in their first-degree relatives (23/126 [32%]). Therefore, increased efforts aimed at the early detection and dietary treatment of CD, among antibody-positive MS patients, are advisable.
Prevalence of Celiac Disease in Multiple Sclerosis.

PMID:21385364  March 2011

Patients with neurological disease of unknown etiology sometimes present with antigliadin and antitissue transglutaminase antibodies. The association between these antibodies and multiple sclerosis has been previously suggested. The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of these antibodies in multiple sclerosis patients. We determined the level of serum immunoglobulin A and immunoglobulin G antigliadin and antitissue transglutaminase antibodies in 98 patients with multiple sclerosis. We found a highly significant increase in titers of immunoglobulin G antibodies against gliadin and tissue transglutaminase in the multiple sclerosis patients. Seven patients had a positive IgG AGA, whereas only 2 controls presented positive titers (P = 0.03). Four patients had positive IgG anti-tTG while all the controls tested negative (P = 0.02). However, immunoglobulin A antibodies against gliadin and tissue transglutaminase were not statistically higher in the multiple sclerosis group in comparison to the control group. Our findings support the associations between antibodies against gliadin and tissue transglutaminase to multiple sclerosis. The specific role of these antibodies in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis remains uncertain and requires additional research. A gluten free diet should be considered in specific cases of patients who present with gluten antibodies.
Gluten sensitivity in multiple sclerosis: experimental myth or clinical truth?
PMID: 19758171 Sept 2009

RESULTS: A total of 428 surveys were returned (response rate 34.8%) of which 416 met the inclusion criteria for analysis. The majority of SA people with MS who responded reported using CAMs/dietary interventions (64.7%). Respondents with tertiary education and those with mild and moderate disease reported highest CAM use. The most frequently used CAM product categories were vitamins (81.8%), essential fatty acids (80.7%) and minerals (62.5%). Commonly used herbal products included Ginkgo biloba (18.2%) and valerian (16.4%). Popular diets were the low fat (39.8%), low/no sugar (23.8%) and gluten-free (16.4%) diets.
Complementary and alternative medicines and dietary interventions in multiple sclerosis: What is being used in South Australia and why?
PMID: 19632549  Aug 2009

[Sustained clinical remission in a patient with remittent-recurrent multiple sclerosis and celiac disease gluten-free diet for 6 years.]
PMID: 19418302 April 2009

Therapeutic potential of vitamin D for multiple sclerosis.
PMID: 18289005  2008

Conclusions The concomitant presence of MS with atypical onset, AH and CD likely represents an unusual chance association in our patient but inflammatory immune-mediated damage of the central nervous system triggered by gluten could not be excluded.
A case of multiple sclerosis with atypical onset associated with autoimmune hepatitis and silent coeliac disease.
PMID: 18379737  Feb 2008

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and vitamin B12 deficiency share common inflammatory and neurodegenerative pathophysiological characteristics. Due to similarities in the clinical presentations and MRI findings, the differential diagnosis between vitamin B12 deficiency and MS may be difficult. Additionally, low or decreased levels of vitamin B12 have been demonstrated in MS patients. Moreover, recent studies suggest that vitamin B12, in addition to its known role as a co-factor in myelin formation, has important immunomodulatory and neurotrophic effects. These observations raise the questions of possible causal relationship between the two disorders, and suggest further studies of the need to close monitoring of vitamin B12 levels as well as the potential requirement for supplementation of vitamin B12 alone or in combination with the immunotherapies for MS patients.
Vitamin B12, demyelination, remyelination and repair in multiple sclerosis.
PMID: 15896807 May 2005

Multiple changes in antibodies against various antigens are found in multiple sclerosis (MS). Results - Highly significant increases compared with controls were found for IgA and IgG antibodies against gliadin and gluten. IgA antibodies against casein were significantly increased. Anti-endomycium and anti-transglutaminase antibodies were negative.
IgA antibodies against gliadin and gluten in multiple sclerosis.
PMID: 15355487 Oct 2004

Two atypical patients with a multiple sclerosis (MS)-like illness and evidence of occult celiac disease (CD) were managed by the authors. This prompted screening of a further 49 unselected MS cases for serologic evidence of CD. IgA anti-endomysial antibody was found in one case (2%). IgG anti-gliadin antibody was found in 12% of patients and 13% of blood donors.
Multiple sclerosis and occult gluten sensitivity.
PMID: 15210909 Jun 2004

Unfortunately the rate of misdiagnosis remains around 5%-10%, indicating that 1 in 20 patients thought to have MS has, instead, a condition resembling MS. Conditions often confused with MS may be inflammatory (systemic lupus erythematosus, Sjogren's syndrome, vasculitis, sarcoidosis, Behcet's disease), infectious (Lyme disease, syphilis, progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, HTLV-1 infection, herpes zoster), genetic (lysosomal disorders, adrenoleukodystrophy, mitochondrial disorders, CADASIL), metabolic (vitamin B12 deficiency), neoplastic (CNS lymphoma) and spinal (degenerative and vascular malformations) diseases.
The differential diagnosis of multiple sclerosis: classification and clinical features of relapsing and progressive neurological syndromes.
PMID: 11794488 Nov 2001

Neurological manifestations of gastrointestinal disorders are described, with particular reference to those resembling multiple sclerosis (MS) on clinical or MRI grounds. Patients with celiac disease can present cerebellar ataxia, progressive myoclonic ataxia, myelopathy, or cerebral, brainstem and peripheral nerve involvement. Antigliadin antibodies can be found in subjects with neurological dysfunction of unknown cause, particularly in sporadic cerebellar ataxia ("gluten ataxia").
Neurological manifestations of gastrointestinal disorders, with particular reference to the differential diagnosis of multiple sclerosis
PMID: 11794474  Nov 2001

Dietary vitamin B12 deficiency in a patient with multiple sclerosis.
Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 1994

Multiple sclerosis and vitamin B12 metabolism.
J Neuroimmunol 1992

Multiple sclerosis associated with vitamin B12 deficiency.
Arch Neurol 1991

Vitamin B12 and its relationship to age of onset of multiple sclerosis.
Int J Neurosci 1993

Vitamin B12 metabolism and massive-dose methyl vitamin B12 therapy in Japanese patients with multiple sclerosis.
Intern Med 1994

Vitamin B12 metabolism in multiple sclerosis.
Arch Neurol 1992