Could a Caveman Diet Beat Multiple Sclerosis and Other Autoimmune Issues?

Embarking on the paleo diet completely transformed my life: I stopped eating gluten and regained my memory, obtained relief from my celiac disease – an autoimmune condition where your immune system attacks your cells when ingesting gluten – and lost significant weight. But can it be beneficial for others fighting autoimmune problems like multiple sclerosis?

The Paleo Diet’s Power

The paleo diet means not only eliminating wheat, barley and rye, but also removing all grains from your meals. Replace them with grass-fed beef, organic chicken, wild-caught fish, nuts, dark chocolate and plenty of organic fruits and vegetables. For cooking and salad dressings, use organic olive oil and coconut oil.

Results from an Israeli-based study proved that adopting a diet like the paleo diet and losing a significant amount of weight can lower the risk of autoimmune diseases. Researchers discovered obesity is a major contributor to autoimmune problems like Crohn’s disease and multiple sclerosis.

Your Body Turns Against Itself

The study found that accumulating excessive body fat affects your body’s tolerance of itself. In other words, the immune system, which should police the body for foreign microscopic invaders, starts to mistake its cells for invasive pathogens. As immune cells attack the body’s cells, inflammation increases, which then can set off an autoimmune disease, leading to deteriorating health.

Growing awareness of obesity’s involvement in autoimmune diseases has heightened the need to investigate its role in the pathology of such conditions, says researcher Yehuda Shoenfeld, a professor at Tel Aviv University’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine. The study involved reviewing over 300 studies that analyzed the link between obesity, adipokines (substances secreted by fat cells) and autoimmune problems like psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, psoriatic arthritis, and Hashimoto thyroiditis.

Shoenfeld found that it’s clear the involvement of adipokines is causing autoimmune diseases – the extra pounds are not just a cosmetic issue; they warp the functionality of the immune system. Therefore, by losing some of that inflammatory weight, you can reduce your chances of contracting rheumatoid arthritis or other autoimmune diseases.

Weight and Vitamin D Deficiency

Shoenfeld’s lab tests revealed that obesity can also lead to vitamin-D deficiency. In studies involving lab animals with multiple sclerosis, he found that when they were supplied with vitamin-D supplements, their health improved, their kidneys stopped deteriorating, and they lived longer. As modern life has made us all prone to vitamin-D deficiency, he suggests that vitamin-D supplements, which are both very cheap and have no side effects, should be prescribed to anyone at risk of a compromised immune system.

In my personal experience, the paleo diet restored my mental strength, eased my arthritis and cleared up persistent skin rashes. But you’ll never know what it can do for your health unless you try it.