This Article is About
multiple sclerosis
omega 3 fish oils
unsaturated fats
saturated fats
lipid peroxidation
nerve cells
Norwegian Phenomenon And Multiple Sclerosis
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I recently came across an interesting theory concerning Multiple Sclerosis (MS).  The theory was named the Norwegian Phenomenon.  First, the study referenced epidemiology studies that indicate a higher incidence of MS in countries with diets high in saturated fats compared to countries with diets low in saturated fats.  The study I read then took this notion even further.  The study chose a single country where one part of the country had a diet high in unsaturated fats compared to another part of the country that had a diet higher in saturated fats.  The results of this study point to Omega-3 fish oils as being beneficial in supressing MS.

Norway, the perfect country for this study

Compared to the coastal population, the inland population of Norway has a diet much higher in saturated fats.  On the other hand, the diet of the coastal population is very high in unsaturated fats.  But not just any type of unsaturated fats.  Since fish is a staple of their diet here on the coast the main type of unsaturated fat in their diet is of the Omega-3 variety.  When the studied compared MS incidence between the inland and coastal populations it was discovered there was a much lower incidence of MS in the coastal population.  Where great amounts of Omega-3 fish oils are present in the diet.

Omega-3 Fish Oils - Benificial for MS

Wondering if there was any truth to this I began reading up on fish oils and MS.   I read one of the major markers of MS is a significant increase lipid peroxidation in the myelin that encases nerve cells.  This damages the myelin and causes dysfunction of the nervous system. 

Lipid peroxidaton occurs to some extend in the myelin of people who are not affect by MS.  The nature way the body handles the is through the antioxidant action of a proteins called plasmalogens.  Plasmalogens act as scavengers of free radical protecting the myelin from oxidative damage.

I came across an interesting study on the omega-3 fish oils.  The study stated one observed property of fish oils was to increase the levels of plasmalogens in the myelin.  The study attributed this property to the DHA type of omega-3.  It seems as through there is a sound basis that omega-3 fish oils supplements are benificial for MS.

Understanding the different ways fats play in good health and disease is complicated.  At my website I try to cover these topics as well as many other topics in disease and nutrtion.  For good health my main philsophy is balance in your life.   







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