How diet may help people with Motor Neuron Disease (MND)

Gut bacteria are influenced by diet in Motor Neuron Disease

Motor Neuron Disease is not one but several diseases – MND is a group of progressive neurological disorders that destroy the cells that control your voluntary muscle activity  - like breathing, speaking, walking and swallowing. These cells are called ‘motor neurons’.

There are several types of the disease – for example: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Primary Lateral Sclerosis PLS, Progressive Muscular Atrophy (PMA), and others including palsy and spinal muscular atrophy.

Typically, people start to degenerate between the ages of 50 and 70. Degeneration includes progressive weakness, muscle wasting, slurred speech and muscle problems like spasticity or stiffness.

Possible causes?

MND is often described as an auto-immune disease  – where typically your own immune system attacks the body. Research into the microbiome (gut bacteria) has concluded that such attacks by the immune system are largely the result of an imbalance of gut bacteria, a loss of diversity and a response by the immune system to ‘bad gut bacteria’ or pathogens, which leads to them producing toxins and/or inflammation. These effects cause an immune reaction.

Auto-immune diseases may also be connected to other factors such as mercury and pesticide toxicity and Candida albicans infection.

Diet and other factors that might help

Several herbs have been shown to be of benefit (for example, liquorice), while colloidal silver may be of benefit according to several studies. Alpha Lipoic Acid may be helpful in its action against free-radicals which are part of the attack process.

And there is some evidence that ALA is able to penetrate into the nerve cells to help restore normal functioning.

There are also links in research to both vitamin D (sunshine, supplementation) and B-12 deficiencies.

Vitamin B-12 acts on the neurons and the symptoms of B-12 deficiency can resemble the early stages of both MND and MS.Importantly B-12, along with biotin, niacin, and folate is produced by a healthy gut microbiome. So, in the short-term a daily supplement of probiotics including acidophilus and bifidobacteria might well help. In the longer-term foods such as raw milk, sauerkraut and Kefir will add back lost gut bacteria and diversity. But overall, the good bacteria need whole foods with lots of soluble fibre like pectins and lignans, in order to multiply and stay dominant.

You can read more on this in Chris Woollams latest book 'The Secret Source of your Good Health', which covers the gut microbiome, its links to illness and the simple steps you can take to strengthen it.