A diet rich in micronutrients – vitamins, minerals and antioxidants – helps prevent a range of diseases and slows down aging. Eating vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and grains ensures a potent mix of these nutrients in their natural state, balanced with other food factors essential for their optimal absorption and function.
But it’s not clear that extracting or synthesizing those nutrients, concentrating them, and consuming them in pill form provides any benefits. Recent evidence has raised concerns about taking multivitamins, and on balance, OMS does not recommend them. (However, in some cases, people may have vitamin deficiencies or absorption issues that necessitate the taking of multivitamin supplements as advised by a physician.) While multivitamins are not recommended, individual supplements, including B12 and iron, may be necessary when following a vegan plus fish diet.
Despite intensive research, it is unclear which constituents of fruits and vegetables might be beneficial for health, but studies have focused on the antioxidant vitamins and elements. It’s assumed that antioxidants may prevent damage to cells from oxidation, which plays a role in aging, in cancer, and in cardiovascular and other diseases. Yet there is no evidence that antioxidants, when removed from food, improve the outcome in MS.
One of the things that sets the OMS Recovery Program apart from other suggested lifestyle programs in MS is that it is based on healthy living, not on supplements.
For a deeper discussion of individual nutrients, as well as sources, see the MS Encyclopedia.