Selecting Products for MS

Dear Dr. Dean,

Hoping that you will help us choose the appropriate supplements, I have read about all your products and I just cannot narrow it down in a couple of areas.

We are 71 and 72, basically healthy, eat healthy, exercise, don’t smoke, drink very little, and do not take prescription drugs. We take quite a few supplements including an average of 5,000 mg of ascorbic acid a day.

We are challenged in a few areas. My husband had brain trauma 15 years ago and has a very poor long-term and short-term memory. I have MS but have taken responsibility for it on my own since diagnosed [1992]. My memory is certainly not as good as my physical health so I would like to improve that. There are so many choices; I need help deciding which is best for each of us.

We supplement our B vitamins, I also have a prescription for B12, injectable C, D, A. E, CoQ10, garlic, chlorella, fiber, enzymes, chia seed oil, coconut oil, evening primrose oil, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, sea kelp, zinc, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and my husband takes saw palmetto.

I have very thin skin and take 500 mg biotin for about a month now but doesn’t seem to help with skin or hair.

I also have a lot of self-induced stress and anxiety. Have tried lots of supplements and only yoga and meditation have helped. Therefore, I have trouble sleeping also. Have also been to homeopathic Doctors but heir remedies didn’t help. We also eat organic and non-GMO mostly.

Hope you will help us decide on these supplements.

NINA, Gold Canyon, AZ

Dear Nina,

For your MS, I recommend continuing with your B12 injections three times each week, and adding Calcium Aminoethanolamine Phosphate (CaAEP) 100 mg 3 times/day. CaAEP was the mainstay of Dr. Hans Nieper’s protocol for MS.

Dr. Fred Klenner recommended heroic doses of many supplements for MS, including Vit B1: 300-500mg 3-4 times/day. I think you may be able to obtain the same or greater benefit by taking lipid-soluble B1—Benfotiamine—in doses of 150-300 mg twice/day. Dr. Klenner also recommended 40-80 mg Vit B2, up to 3 g niacin (B3) every day, calcium pantothenate (B5), 200 mg 4 times/day, and 300-500 mg Vit B6 daily, Vitamin C in daily doses up to 10 g, or to “bowel tolerance” and 1000 mg choline four times daily (Memory Upgrade II).

Have you checked your Vitamin D serum levels lately? Vitamin D has been shown to be of benefit to those with MS.1 I recommend maintaining your 25-OH-D levels above 50 ng/ml. This often requires supplementary doses between 5-10,000 IU/day.

Low dose naltrexone (LDN) is of special importance for those with MS. Because of the possible side effect of sleep disturbances and GI distress, I usually start with only 1 mg at bedtime, advancing the dose to 4.5 mg/day as tolerance develops. LDN is available from compounding pharmacies, where a prescription will be required. You can obtain LDN without a prescription from International AntiAging Systems, Inc. (www.antiaging-systems.com).

Finally, I recommend high-dose Turmeric/Curcumin as in Durk & Sandy’s Whole Turmeric Power for its powerful anti-inflammatory effects, which should also help your MS.2

For your insomnia, I recommend Melatonin, 9-12 mg at bedtime. I recommend melatonin even if you don’t have insomnia. Melatonin is a “regulator of regulators,” and is very important for maintaining our daily rhythms of many hormones and cell-signalers. In addition, although I know you don’t like prescription medications, I recommend gabapentin (Neurontin) for sleep (since you have a prescription for B12 injections, you may want to ask your physician for a scrip for gabapentin, or LDN). Gabapentin is an analog of GHB, a natural molecule, which is in every cell in your body in small amounts. GHB is the safest, most non-toxic, non-addictive sleep inducer known. Gabapentin shares many of the benefits of GHB, in supporting natural sleep. The dose of gabapentin must be individualized—600-800 mg being the most common effective dose, although I have patients who use as little as 100 mg each night, and several “card-carrying insomniacs” who require 3200 mg! Gabapentin increases slow wave, REM and non-REM sleep, and does not leave one “hung-over” in the morning, as with other drugs used for insomnia.

Alternatively, or in addition to Gabapentin, you can try 5-HTP in doses of 2-300 mg before bedtime, or 2,000 mg of Tryptophan—all taken on an empty stomach.

GHB was patented as a releaser of growth hormone, which helps to cause an increase in skin thickness. I speculate that gabapentin may have a similar effect. Another potent releaser of growth hormone is niacin, previously recommended.

For your husband’s memory problems, I recommend Vinpocetine 40 mg/day; Phosphatidylserine 300 mg/day, Acetyl-L-Carnitine 1500 mg per day, and Galantamine 8-16 mg/day. You might also consider sharing your Memory Upgrade II with him.

I hope these suggestions will help.

Ward Dean, MD

References

  1. Brown SJ. The role of vitamin D in multiple sclerosis. Ann Pharmacother. 2006 Jun;40(6):1158-61.
  2. Xie L, Li XK, Takahara S. Curcumin has bright prospects for the treatment of multiple sclerosis. Int Immunopharmacol. 2011 Mar;11(3):323-30. doi: 10.1016/j.intimp.2010.08.013. Epub 2010 Sep 8.

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