If you suffer from a condition such as multiple sclerosis that damages the myelin sheath protecting your nerve fibres, you will be pleased to know there are ways of repairing damage to myelin. Normally, the body can repair damage sustained by myelin sheaths, but if scarring occurs then healing can be difficult. Different approaches involving nutrition and nutraceutical treatments can help support myelin healing and regeneration and prevent scarring.
Supplement with folic acid and vitamin B12. These two vitamins are required by the body for the protection of the nervous system and the proper repair of myelin sheaths. In a study published in the Russian medical journal "Vrachebnoe Delo" in 1990, researchers found that patients suffering from multiple sclerosis who were treated with folic acid had significantly improved symptoms and myelin repair. Folic acid and B12 may help to prevent and repair myelin damage.
Reduce inflammation in the body in order to protect myelin sheaths from damage. Anti-inflammatory therapy is currently the mainstay of treatment for multiple sclerosis and in addition to taking prescriptive medical treatments, patients can also explore nutritional and herbal anti-inflammatories. Natural anti-inflammatories include essential fatty acids, vitamin C, vitamin D, green tea, devil's claw, white willow and boswellia.
Consume essential fatty acids every day. The myelin sheaths are primarily made up of the essential fatty acid called oleic acid, an omega-6 found in fish, olives, chicken, nuts and seeds. In addition, eating deep-sea fish will provide good quantities of omega-3 fatty acids to help improve mood, learning, memory and brain health. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation in the body and help to protect myelin sheaths.
Support the immune system. Inflammation that causes damage to the myelin sheaths are caused by immune cells and autoimmune diseases in the body. Nutrients to support the immune system include vitamin C, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin D and B complex. In a study published in "The Journal of the American Medical Association" in 2006, vitamin D was found to reduce the risk of demyelination and multiple sclerosis significantly.
- Journal of the American Medical Association: Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Levels and Risk of Multiple Sclerosis
- Resources for Science Learning: The Brain: Nourish---Fats
- PubMed: Does diet affect our mood? The significance of folic acid and homocysteine
- PubMed: Anti-apoptotic role of omega-3-fatty acids in developing brain: perinatal hypothyroid rat cerebellum as apoptotic model
- PubMed: Folic acid in the combined treatment of patients with disseminated sclerosis and chronic gastritis