I recently shared about how I’ve changed my diet to help manage my MS (you can read about it here), but diet is only one of the things I’m doing to help my body and brain function as well as possible. Another part of my MS management strategy is taking certain vitamins and supplements. Again, let me preface this by saying I am not an expert in this in any way, I’m simply trying to pass on a few of things I’ve learned that are working for me.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been working with a naturopath over the last few months who is coming along the recommendations of my neurologist to help me manage MS. In one of my first appointments with her, she advised me to take certain supplements, which I immediately started. I was so encouraged when I shared the list of supplements I was taking with with my neurologist at the MS Clinic and he agreed with the recommendations I had already been given. Knowing they are both in agreement definitely makes me feel like I’m making the right decision!
My intake of vitamins and supplements begins each day with a VEGA ONE Nutritional shake. I had never tried a Vega product before last fall, but now I’m hooked. I first started taking VEGA ONE in September 2014 because I was having a hard time keeping weight on and this vegan shake has 15g of plant-based protein in addition to a number of other nutritional benefits (seriously, it also has fiber, probiotics and antioxidants – you can read more about the additional vitamins and benefits here). You can buy Vega One here.
I actually take VEGA ONE every single morning. It serves as my multivitamin since it includes 50% of the daily recommended intake of vitmains and minerals, making up for anything I may be missing in my diet. My personal favourite flavour is French Vanilla, but I also sneak chocolate in once in while, especially on the weekends when my morning shake happens closer to 11am instead of the usual 7am. I’ve also tried Vanilla Chai and Berry, but I keep going back to the French Vanilla!
I use the individual cups for my Ninja blender and make my shake by blending together:
- 1 scoop of French Vanilla Vega One Nutritional Shake
- 1 small banana
- 1/2 cup of frozen blueberries
- 1 cup of ice
- Unsweetened almond milk, or coconut.almond blend milk (I add as much as I need to fill the cup)
- 300mg of magnesium glycinate (I take more about this below)
This shake helps to ensure that I’m getting enough protein, but also helps my body get the vitamins it needs! I love it. My morning wouldn’t feel complete without it! It costs about $60 for a large tub (22 days worth).
In addition to my nutritional shake, I also take a few other supplements to specifically address my MS. The supplements I’ve been taking daily for a few months now are:
- Omega Fish Oil
- Ubiquinol (the active antioxidant form of CoQ10)
- Mangnesium Glycinate
- Vitamin D
Omega Fish Oil – I take 2000mg a day of Ultimate Omega Fish Oil by Nordic Naturals. Nordic Nautuals is a company my naturopath suggested because of the way they process their products. The Ultimate Omega is about $50 for 120 Soft Gels (2 months supply) but I take it because of the high concentration of EPA (325mg/1000mg) and DHA (225mg/1000mg). Omega is thought to aid in brain in nerve health and reduce inflammation.
Ubiquinol – Ubiquinol is the active antioxidant form of CoQ10. I take 100mg a day of CardioStrong brand of CardioQH, a supplement that is also important in cardio health. This bottle is about $30 for 30 liquid capsules (1 month supply). I don’t think there is anything particularly special about this brand, Platinum Naturals CardioStrong, it’s simply the best quality my Nutrition House always has in stock. Ubiquinol is thought to slow brain deterioration in many neurological diseases and also aids in the healthy function of mitochondria, which provide the energy that cells need to function properly.
Mangnesium Glycinate – I take 500mg a day of Magnesium. Since the Vega One I take has 200mg of magnesium already I only need to an additional 300mg of the loose powder supplement. This is the supplement that I notice the most difference from on a day-to-day basis. It alleviates a lot of the muscle cramping I feel because of MS, and I haven’t had a severe muscle spasm since I’ve been taking it. I also notice a difference in quality of my sleep and my digestive health when I’m taking it. It costs about $30 for a 3 month supply. Again, there’s nothing particularly special about the brandI use, Innovative Health, it’s just the easiest for me to find at my local Nutrition House store.
Vitamin D – My neurologist recently checked my vitamin D levels because many people with MS are low in vitamin D (leading to unproven theories about why MS is more common in countries farther from the equator), but my vitamin D levels are perfectly normal! My naturopath still suggested that I take vitamin D as a precaution, especially since I live in one of the rainiest places in the winter! I take 2000 IU of Vitamin D a day, which is 2 small drops. I buy this Genestra Brands D-Mulsion 1000 vitamin directly from my naturopath for $18 a bottle, about a 3 month supply.
That’s my daily vitamin and supplement intake! If you do the math you can see that it can get a little pricey to keep up with, but I’m committed to doing everything I can to keep my body and brain working the best they can!