The Monte Diet

Diets & Multiple Sclerosis

Mainstream treatment for MS consists of thing like interferons, steroids and many other types of drugs. Apart from this, many people claim to have found a specific kind of diet which helps in keeping MS under control. Nowadays the word 'diet' is usually associated with trying to lose weight, but here the word is used in its most general sense, just a kind of plan about which things you should eat and which things you should avoid.

Like I said, many diets for MS exist, some being more restrictive than others. There's Dr Swank's diet which basically tells you to avoid specific types of fatty acids. There's Ashton Embry's 'Best Bet Diet', Dr Terry Wahls' paleo-style diet to keep your mitochondria healthy, and probably many more.

And now there's another one: the 'Monte Diet'. Only time can tell how effective it truly is, but to me it seems to be about one of the most coherent theories on MS that I've heard of. Together with the fact that it's a fairly unrestrictive diet, I can't think of a reason not to try it.

The culprit: methanol

According to Dr Woodrow Monte's theory, multiple sclerosis (and several other diseases) are caused by a slow, chronic methanol poisoning. Apparently humans can't deal with methanol very well, which is why we're so much more sensitive to it than other species. In the human body, the methanol that is present is transformed into formaldehyde, a very reactive substance. In MS, the formaledehyde can produce small changes in the insulating substance - called myelin - present around nerve cells.

When the immune system notices these changes, it calls for reinforcements and attacks this damaged myelin. Since the changes to the myelin are so small, we don't see that it's actually damaged myelin that the immune cells are getting rid of, and think that our defense system has somehow been compromised and has decided to attack its own tissue.

If you're interested in the theory and the evidence supporting it, Dr Monte has been so kind to make the chapter on MS from his book available on his web site. You can find a link to the PDF file on this page:

The Monte Diet

Because in this theory the chain of events is started by the presence of methanol in the bloodstream, the obvious way to avoid all this, is to avoid the methanol itself. And this is precisely what the Monte Diet is all about: avoid all sources of methanol, such as cigarette smoke and aspartame. It is a fairly simple diet, you can read about it on this page: