Category Archives: FOOD

MS Turmeric and Inflammation

A picture of me.

That would be me!

     Turmeric is derived from the spice curry used extensively in India. It’s health benefits range from helping to treat constipation to also being a huge anti-inflammatory agent. I personally had read so many great things about turmeric , including that some people believed it have something to do with India’s very small incidence of Multiple Sclerosis, that I just had to give it a try. 

     That was over a year ago and unfortunately I did not experience the health benefits that I had hoped to achieve. I am certainly not saying that it doesn’t provide benefits to other people but it doesn’t seem to do much for me except cost money. It may come down to each persons own body chemistry being a factor in whether turmeric has a positive effect or not. I know that researchers are discovering that many cancer drugs can work wonders for some people and have absolutely little if any effect for others.

     In closing, if it works for you, by all means keep using it as long as your neurologist and general practitioner are aware of you using it as many supplements like turmeric can have undesirable effects when used with other prescribed drugs!   

by

Bill Walker

 

PS. I am still in search of a literary agent/publisher for my book if anyone can help by putting in a good word for me!

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MS Donald Trump and His Medicaid Budget Cuts

A picture of me.

That would be me!

No matter how you voted or what your personal political beliefs are of Donald Trump and his administration, the 2017-2018 budget that was just released, is nothing short of draconian with respect to anyone who has a disability.

This budget calls for cuts of up to 1.4 Trillion, yes Trillion, dollars to medicaid over the next ten years. This will mean every single person with a disability that relies on medicaid for health care, including children, will be impacted.

Donald Trump has also asked for cuts of hundreds of millions of dollars from the social security fund that provides disability checks for both Veterans and people living with disabilities. And, on top of that, his administration is also seeking large cuts to the Snap program that helps people with disabilities buy food through the use of food stamps to help supplement their disability checks.  

People with disabilities need to stand as one and say, “NO!” to these outrages cuts.

Bill Walker

MS Halloween and Chocolate

Fred Meyer Holiday Pumpkin Patch

Yea, not very scary! LOL

As we rapidly approach Halloween, probably the second biggest holiday where chocolate is indulged upon with Valentines Day being the first, I once again broach the subject of a few of chocolates healthy benefits. I’ve already discussed how chocolate is a huge anti-inflammatory treat as long as you eat the purer forms of chocolate with higher amounts of cocoa then the regular milk chocolate that is mostly available in grocery stores candy counters. And as long as you eat it remembering that moderation is the key here. And also remembering that chocolate, no matter what kind you eat, also has a high fat content that can make weight gain a real possibility if you consume to much.

I also wanted to add information that is new about a study using athletes. This study found that athletes who consumed small amounts of dark chocolate with a high cocoa content once a week of about 1.4 ounces just before working out found that their endurance was greatly enhanced. It appears that this rich chocolate acts to open veins and arteries allowing for greater blood flow which increases stamina. And if it helps athletes with their workouts I don’t see any reason that dark chocolate wouldn’t also help people with other diseases or disorders do the same thing during their exercise workouts including people with multiple sclerosis.

So please enjoy your Halloween and allow yourself a small indulgence without guilt as you celebrate All Hallows Day. The day we all chase away all of those negative spirits from our past. Be safe, and please, try to enjoy yourselves as we begin a long march towards the Fall and Winter Holidays to come!

And now I have a small favor to ask of anyone who might have either an Editor at a Book Publishing House or a Literary Agent in the family or as a friend. I’m trying to find either an Editor or an Agent that would give my book VISUS a serious read with the hopes of getting  my book out into the literary hands of the general public. Even if you get them to read the first chapter that is listed above in the title bar would be greatly appreciated by me.

Again, please have a safe Halloween weekend and enjoy your family and friends!

Bill Walker

MS Chocolate and Valentines Day’s Healthy Choice

   100_0735  

     In a previous article I discussed the heart healthy and anti-inflammatory benefits that chocolate can provide but that’s certainly not all of the benefits that science is learning about this treat.

      Chocolate especially the purer kinds with higher cocoa content and less sugar can also help to lower blood pressure while also making blood platelets less sticky allowing them to clot easier. And dark chocolate also contains oleic acid which is a heart healthy monounsaturated fat that is also found in something else that’s considered very heart healthy, olive oil.

     Chocolate is loaded with antioxidants; in fact chocolate has eight times the amount of antioxidants as strawberries. And the antioxidants in chocolate help to remove free radicals from environmental factors that we encounter on a daily basis from smoke and other air pollutants as well as from other things that we eat. Chocolate also helps keep LDL, or the bad cholesterol, from forming in the body while also helping in balancing certain hormones.

     And chocolate even has some benefits for your mental health like stimulating endorphin production giving you a feeling of pleasure. And chocolate also contains serotonin which acts as a natural anti-depressant. And finally it also contains theobromine and caffeine which act as stimulants for a quick little pick-me up when needed.

     Chocolate should always be eaten in moderation as it does have a high fat content however most of these fats are considered to be the healthy kind, so go ahead, and indulge a little.

     Happy Valentines Day! ♥

 

Bill Walker-Author of Visus

MS and Melatonin for Sleep

     Melatonin bottles surrounded by mermaidsA couple of months ago I took part in a survey about melatonin and if I felt it had any positive benefits for people with multiple sclerosis. In the questionnaire I answered that I did take melatonin and it did help me to sleep. I also added that when I first started taking it many years ago I felt that it might be helping in reducing some of the stiffness in my legs but I wasn’t a hundred percent certain either then or now. Back then I was using 3mg nightly and then would sometimes add an extra 3mg dose on particularly bad nights.

     Recently I also read that melatonin is now considered safe at larger doses of up to 10 mg a night and it may also have some anti-inflammatory properties as well. And I must admit, as the years have gone by I have upped my nightly dose to 5 mg at bedtime with an additional 5 mg if I wake up in the middle of the night and can’t go back to sleep. I also have an anti-spastic drug Cyclobenzaprine that I can take if I feel the need but I worry about becoming addicted to it over the long haul so I don’t like taking it very often. But I sure do sleep deeply when I do take it. And in the spring I often also add 25mg of Benadryle before bedtime when the trees start to pollinate because of a severe allergic reaction to certain trees. That also helps as well for sleeping, though the survey was only concerned about melatonin.

     I don’t know when the results of this survey will be made public but I am more than curious to see what it has to say? As the survey did hint that there may be some added benefits for people who suffer from multiple sclerosis who also take melatonin on a regular basis, beyond its ability to help in falling asleep, but it didn’t elaborate. We’ll see?

MS CHOCOLATE AND MY RESPONSE TO A COMMENT

 

Wine Chocolate and Cherries

Yum!

     My last article discussing the benefits of eating small amounts of high quality dark chocolate was seen and read by literally thousands of people who also made hundreds of comments. A few of these comments told of getting headaches or stomach aches after eating chocolate. And a few discussed how they just didn’t like chocolate. However, one from a man in Europe, flat out stated that the entire piece was complete rubbish and I shouldn’t be writing such things. It goes on to say that there are several studies showing that chocolate is harmful for people with multiple sclerosis.

     And that comment sent me off to the internet for a three hour plus search to see if I could find these studies that he was referring to. My search came up empty as to any study that found chocolate to be bad for people with MS. What I could find basically said that if chocolate, or anything for that matter, makes you feel worse after eating it, then don’t eat or drink it. The closest thing that I could find to a study that was not favorable to chocolate came from a Naturopath site and their belief that MS is primarily a disease that is being caused by food allergies of which chocolate could be one of these foods.

     You would think out of the thousands of people who read the article, some of which most certainly work in the health care industry, that one of them would have disputed what I wrote about, but not one of them did.

     What I did find of relevance, which wasn’t a whole lot, is copied below with links so you can read it for yourself. And I encourage anyone to do their own searches as I could have missed something along the way. And with that said, I stand behind what I wrote a couple of weeks ago!

Why Dark Chocolate for Peripheral Vascular Disease?

Previous studies suggested dark chocolate may have a role in helping people with peripheral vascular disease. Dark chocolate can help the diseased blood vessels dilate; allowing more blood flow, according to a study in the journal Heart in 2011. Dark chocolate also has properties that block chemicals in the body that constrict the blood vessel, researchers from Heinrich-Heine-University in Germany found. Finally, as mentioned in my prior column, dark chocolate improves body inflammation, is an antioxidant, and can help with certain parts of our cholesterol, all of which contribute to the growth and stability of the atherosclerotic plaques.

What’s New With Dark Chocolate?

A new study of dark chocolate included twenty patients with an average age of approximately 70 years and with moderately severe peripheral vascular disease. The authors, from Rome, Italy, wanted to understand what happened to the function of the arteries and exercise capacity 2 hours after people ate 40 grams of dark chocolate (40 grams of dark chocolate on average is about 200-220 calories, and 1.4 ounces).

The investigators studied blood flow into the patient’s limbs before and after consuming the dark chocolate. They also performed treadmill exercise testing. The patients were studied after having 40 grams of dark chocolate and then a second time after receiving a placebo chocolate (milk chocolate). Even with a single treatment the findings were quite interesting.

  • 11 percent increase in the patients’ walk distances after eating dark chocolate
  • 15 percent increase in their walking time
    • 57 percent increase in the blood protein (nitric oxide) that helps with relaxation and dilation of the arteries
    • Two markers associated with constriction of the arteries went down by 23-37 percent

    In summary, dark chocolate improved blood flow through mechanisms related to relaxation of the arteries (nitric oxide) and oxidative stress and as a result improved walking distances and times.

    We currently don’t know how much dark chocolate is too much. So if you are a dark chocolate enthusiast, look to use 40 grams (1.4 ounces) a day as this is what has shown in this study to provide benefit. Hopefully these studies will continue to stimulate investigators to look at multiple doses to allow the consumer to receive the maximum benefit without risks.

    1. Jared Bunch, MD

    Dr. Bunch is a native of Logan, Utah and graduated from the University of Utah School of Medicine with alpha omega alpha honors. He completed internal medicine residency and fellowships in cardiovascular

     

    I use chocolate- dark chocolate- to battle pain which presents in a certain part of my brain. It works quite well for me and the pain disappears quite quickly. Yesterday I had this pain twice in one day which is rare. Still, each time the pain hit, the dark chocolate was 100% effective- for me- in melting the pain.

    I read of a recent study in Italy using chocolate to combat dementia and to slow down Alzheimer’s. Though the study is still inconclusive, the initial results have been quite promising. Knowledge is important and I always encourage others to read and learn because it is a lifelong pursuit. If we do not use our brain, we will in fact lose it. The saying ‘use it or lose it’ applies to muscles and brain both!
    Now I do not have dementia nor Alzheimer’s, but I will keep using it for my MS pain!

    This conversation continues at the link below:
    Read more: http://www.healthboards.com/boards/multiple-sclerosis/914130-chocolate-mmmmmmmm.html#ixzz3ftvh2tFJ

     

    Foods which are high in magnesium include raw spinach, squash and pumpkin seeds, soy beans, fish (mackerel), brown rice, avocados, plain non-fat yogurt, bananas, dried figs, and dark chocolate.  Foods high in folate include raw spinach, black eyed peas, lentils, asparagus, romaine lettuce, avocado, broccoli, mango, oranges, and wheat bread.
    Would you be willing to independently undertake the effort to study your own nutritional intakes and take note of any effect on specific MS symptoms you may have, including fatigue?  The results would be interesting.

    – See more at: http://www.healthcentral.com/multiple-sclerosis/c/19065/169283/folate-correlates/#sthash.7KToo5xt.dpuf

    The following from a Naturopath site was about the only extremely negative comment about chocolate that I could find in two hours of searching. And again even here it assumes that a food allergy may be the cause of Multiple Sclerosis.

     Chocolate Avoidance

      Epidemiology studies have documented a correlation between high cocoa consumption and high MS incidence. When cocoa is introduced to an area, MS incidence rises sharply. Cases are reported in which chocolate ingestion by MS patients was followed by exacerbations [Maas AG, Hogenhuis LAH. Multiple sclerosis and possible relationship to cocoa: A hypothesis. Ann Allergy 59: pp.76- 9, 1987]

    Here is the abstract of this article: “The hypothesis presented in this paper suggests that MS may be caused by an allergic or other adverse reaction to certain foods, mostly cocoa products, cola, and coffee. Many MS patients have one or more manifestations of other well known reactions to those foods, such as migraine, urticaria, or gastrointestinal disturbances.”