Many people with multiple sclerosis take supplements. It is important to be clear about which MS supplements are actually helpful, and which are potentially harmful.

The literature clearly shows that some MS supplements are helpful, but also that some are harmful. Here, we go into some detail about the most important of these, the essential fatty acids, and fatty acid supplements that people might consider taking.

Essential fatty acids are a major part of the recovery package with MS. Current knowledge indicates that omega-3 fatty acids are more helpful than omega-6s. We know that omega-3s modulate immune system disorders more effectively than omega-6s do, and that saturated fats worsen them.

Many studies have been done on the role of omega-3s and omega-6s in MS. OMS’s extensive, international HOLISM study showed that people with MS who consumed flaxseed oil regularly had over 60% fewer relapses than those who didn't.

Even without such studies, we know that MS is less common in places such as Japan where fish (which is high in omega-3s) is frequently consumed. OMS recommends people with MS get their omega-3s from flaxseed oil rather than fish oil.