“There is a popular theory that food allergies play a role in the progression and treatment of MS. As mentioned earlier, the consumption of two common allergens – gluten and milk – has been implicated in MS. Small intestinal biopsy in a small group of MS patients indicated an increased frequency of significant damage to the intestinal lining. The damage was similar to that which occurs in celiac disease and food allergies.” (Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, 1998, Michael T. Murray, N.D. & Joseph E. Pizzorno, N.D.)
“There is solid evidence that MS is an auto immune disease which means it is the result of the actions of one’s own immune system on specific tissues in the body. For example when the immune system attacks collagen in the joints the auto immune disease is called rheumatoid arthritis. MS is characterized by inflammation and damage to tissues in the central nervous system (CNS) due to immune responses.” (Van Oosten et al., 1995)
“Diet can readily affect the brain-blood barrier through the ingestion of allergenic foods and large quantities of saturated fats. Diet is obviously found throughout the world and it is specific enough to an individual with very specific allergies to result in MS affecting only half or less of genetically susceptible individuals.
Food allergies seem to be very common and this is currently being demonstrated by ELISA blood tests which test for allergenic reactions to 190 foods. Currently all five MS patients who have had such a test have had numerous, significant food allergies. Given that it is estimated that between 1 in 50 to 1 in 100 people have significant food allergies, if the MS and food allergies were not related, the chance of a person having both would be between 1 in 50,000 to 1 in 100,000. Current data suggest at least 1 in 2 MS patients has notable food allergies indicating that MS and food allergies are definitely related.” (MS – Probable Cause and Best-Bet Treatment, by Ashton F. Embry, Ph.D., 06/15/96)
“It has been known for centuries that OPC counteracts allergic reactions. Masquelier explains the anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic activity of OPC, on the basis of their antioxidant activity…Free radicals activate the release of histamine and other mediators and they are also produced by these mediators. This is how free radicals form essential components in the development and perpetuation of inflammations and allergic reactions. (OPC in Practice, by Bert Schwitters in Collaboration with Prof. Jack Masquelier)
Multiple Sclerosis and the BBB
“Historically, it has been known that MS is caused by certain white blood cells attacking the myelin surrounding the nerve cells of a person’s own central nervous system. How do the white blood cells get to the myelin in order to attack it to begin with? Under normal conditions the blood-brain barrier (BBB) provides an effective separation between the blood cells and the myelin, such that it would be irrelevant whether or not some of the white cells were programmed incorrectly.
Strengthening the BBB to the extent that no further breakdowns occur would indeed help victims of Multiple Sclerosis. There are three related chemicals which have been found effective in strengthening the blood-brain barrier in animals. These are the anthocyanosides, proanthocyanidins, and procyanidolic oligomers (PCOs). All three of these are variants of a common class of chemicals called “flavonoids.”” (Multiple Sclerosis, The Blood Brain Barrier, and New Treatment, by Timothy R. Stout)
“MS patients have been shown to have an abnormal blood-brain barrier, presumably as a result of excessive platelet adhesiveness and aggregation. Damage to the blood brain barrier may allow the influx to the cerebrospinal fluid of substances in the blood, such as bacteria, viruses, antibodies, toxic chemicals and other compounds, that are toxic to myelin. Lack of oxygen may also be a contributing factor in de-myelination, by promoting both the release of cellular enzymes and cellular suffocation (death).” (Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, 1991, Michael T. Murray, N.D. & Joseph E. Pizzorno, N.D.)
OPCs’ remarkable antioxidant activity may help stabilize brain cells and improve their functioning by neutralizing damage from free radicals.
OPC is expert at treating vascular diseases because it actually increases the structural strength of weakened blood vessels. It also has other biological activity and is one of the most potent antioxidants known. Some experts call OPC a superstar among botanical supplements, the one with the most potential of all for benefiting human health.