Multiple Sclerosis. Is it related to diet?


Eating the right food helps prevent most diseases.

As we learned from the Forks Over Knives movie, up to 80 percent of our health care dollars are driven by what we eat; and in this blog, we’ve written about many of them. But today is the first time we’ve mentioned multiple sclerosis. And according to Dr. Roy Swank, Dr. T. Colin Campbell and other reputable scientists, it turns out that once again cow’s milk is one of the culprits that promotes this terrible disease. Beginning on page 194 of The China Study, Dr. Campbell presents a wealth of information, beginning with:

Prevalence on the Y axis, cow's milk consumption on the X axis. No mystery here.

Even though there is widespread medical and scientific interest in this disease, most authorities claim to know very little about causes or cures.

Major multiple sclerosis Internet Web sites all claim that the disease is an enigma. They generally list genetics, viruses and environmental factors as possibly playing roles in the development of this disease but pay almost no heed to a possible role for diet. This is peculiar considering the wealth of intriguing information on the effects of food that is available from reputable research reports. Once again cow’s milk appears to play an important role.

There are several graphs; among them, one showing the clear correlation between the incidence of MS and the consumption of cow’s milk.

Death rate from MS is clearly associated to diet; with meat and dairy diets having a much higher rate.

This work is remarkable. To follow people for thirty-four years is an exceptional demonstration of perseverance and dedication. Moreover, if this were a study testing a potential drug, these findings would make any pharmaceutical manufacturer jingle the coins in his or her pocket. Swank’s first results were published more than a half century ago, then again, and again, and again  for the next forty years.

Dr. John McDougall, one of the five MD's featured in our book.

As we have reported many times on this blog, we find that our optimal diet of mostly whole plants promotes our health and prevents or reverses most of the maladies that plague us. One diet for every problem doesn’t’ sound very exciting, but it sure is refreshingly simple—albeit maybe not very interesting reading. Dr. Campbell discovered that fact when he was turned down by a number of potential publishers who didn’t think that simple “one diet fits all” was marketable.

What does Dr. John McDougall have to say about MS? Quite a bit, as a matter of fact. You may want to wait until Sunday afternoon to watch his free 67-minute video:  “Diet and Multiple Sclerosis.” This a great, comprehensive video featuring the legendary work of Dr. Roy Swank. Dr. McDougall is the primary teacher of his great work. You really should take the time to watch this sometime soon.

J. Morris Hicks, author and activist. Working daily to promote health, hope and harmony on planet Earth.

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And if you like what 4-Leaf eating is doing for you and your family, you might enjoy visiting our new “4-Leaf Gear” store. From the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.

—J. Morris Hicks…blogging daily at

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About J. Morris Hicks

A former strategic management consultant and senior corporate executive with Ralph Lauren in New York, J. Morris Hicks has always focused on the "big picture" when analyzing any issue. In 2002, after becoming curious about our "optimal diet," he began a study of what we eat from a global perspective ---- discovering many startling issues and opportunities along the way. In addition to an MBA and a BS in Industrial Engineering, he holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, where he has also been a member of the board of directors since 2012. Having concluded that our food choices hold the key to the sustainability of our civilization, he has made this his #1 priority---exploring all avenues for influencing humans everywhere to move back to the natural plant-based diet for our species.
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3 Responses to Multiple Sclerosis. Is it related to diet?

  1. barbaraH says:

    That was quick. I was about to say something about Dr. Greger’s link and forward something from Dr. McDougall’s site but you beat me too it.

    I think Dr. McDougall’s video is so interesting, and wonder what the update on his research is. He always strikes me as one of the few voices of reason, hammering home the same message over and over. I just googled Swank and see that front and center on the current Swank site (I don’t know who’s running it; I know Swank passed away) is a list of supplements you can buy from them. You wonder if all this current infatuation with Vitamin D supplements will go the same way as every other supplement, like E or Beta Carotene or Folic Acid. Why wouldn’t measures of D in the blood just show a correlation, rather than a cause, of disease?

  2. Leo M. Schwaiger says:

    Here is a video about MS by Dr. McDougall which also shows the work by Dr. Swank, if the link transmits as hoped.

    • Jim Hicks says:

      Thank you very much Leo, I just replaced the Dr. Greger video with the much more focused 67-minute McDougall presentation.
      Be well, Jim

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