Multiple Sclerosis and Evening Primrose Oil
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: [No Name Given]
Posted on: August 4, 1998

What are the benefits of taking primrose for someone with MS?

The cause or causes of multiple sclerosis are still not understood. There are suspicions that a virus may be involved. Whatever the cause, MS is results when the myelin sheath of the nerves is damaged.

There is some indication that problems with fat metabolism lead to the myelin sheath breakdown. Evening primrose oil is high in one of the essential fatty acids, gamma-linolenic acid, which has profound and multifaceted effects on the human body.

Judy Graham, author of the book, "Evening Primrose Oil" (available from Richters), suggests that evening primrose oil may help to alleviate the symptoms of MS in seven ways:

1. Stimulates the T-lymphocytes. MS patients often have defective T-suppressor cells, and evening primrose oil can provide a boost.

2. Stops platelet clumping. MS patients have abnormal platelet clumping. EPO can reverse this symptom.

3. Restore red blood cells. MS patients have malfunctioning red blood cells that are low in essential fatty acids.

4. Strengthen blood vessels. MS patients sometimes appear to have leaky blood vessel walls.

5. EPO may have anti-viral activity. As a viral origin of MS is suspected, EPO’s anti-viral activity may be beneficial.

6. Nervous system effects. EPO has effects on the nerves, helping to regulate the workings of both the central and peripheral nervous systems.

7. Regulates prostaglandin balance. EPO is directly involved in the synthetic pathways of the prostaglandins. Relatively high levels of the series 2 prostaglandins is associated with inflammatory disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and MS. EPO can help swing the balance toward the series 1 prostaglandins.

Graham devotes a chapter of her book to MS, and she provides references to the scientific and medical literature for further reading and research.

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