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    You are here : Home » Get Involved » MSRC Interactive » Help, Advice and Inspiration from people with MS » What Has Helped You » Diet » Giving Up Milk

    Giving Up Milk

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    Avoiding milk can be harmful

    MilkI take issue with the following statement which appeared in New Pathways Magazine: ‘Milk has long been suspected as a cause of MS and that it is sensible to give it up’.

    I have many years of experience of working with patients with MS. I would dispute that milk is suspect as a cause of MS, but as a definite cause has yet to be found, I appreciate that there are differing opinions.

    What I am concerned about is the blanket advice to people with MS to avoid milk. This is at best unnecessary, and at worst could be harmful. As you are aware, many people with MS have reduced nutrient intakes, which can compromise their general well being, resistance to infections etc. This may well be coupled with reduced weight-bearing exercise and use of steroids where the risk of severe osteoporosis is greatly increased.

    To cut out milk is to potentially reduce intake of protein, energy, and other nutrients, particularly calcium, in vulnerable individuals. Anyone wishing to try a milk-free diet would be well advised to have their diet assessed by a state registered dietician who can ensure their diet remains adequate for their requirements.

    I appreciate that you are seeking to do your best for people with MS, so I would suggest that you check out any dietary advice that is given in your magazine with a state registered dietician.

    Bernice Chiswell BSc (Hons) SRD
    The British Dietetic Association has a list of freelance dieticians.
    Email: [email protected]

    Giving up Milk worked for me - Tessa Buckley

    I gave up milk in 1984 after a bout of severe ill health which forced me to give up work. Believe me, it was a hard decision - I loved cheese, even if chocolate and cream had always made me feel ill - but I’d read a book on food intolerance which had convinced me that milk could be the problem.

    When I gave up all milk and dairy products, the result was staggering: my energy levels soared, my ill-health disappeared and soon I was back at work.

    Later, when my two young children began to show the same pattern of constant ear and throat infections that I’d had as a child, I began to wonder if milk could be affecting them too.

    It’s difficult to say whether it’s the saturated fat in the milk or some other factor that causes the problem but I believe that giving it up has slowed the progression of my illness. With proper dietary advice and the use of supplements, it’s quite easy to ensure you get enough calcium and protein and the benefits of giving up milk can be enormous for anyone who cannot tolerate it.

    © Multiple Sclerosis Resource Centre (MSRC) 

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