Q & A Library
Chlorophyll for MS?
I was recently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and have been taking chlorophyll supplements to boost my immune system. Is this wise, or should I be more cautious about chlorophyll?
Answer (Published 12/27/2004)
Chlorophyll, the green pigment that gives plants their color, has no function in the human body. That fact hasn’t stopped marketers from promoting supplements containing chlorophyll and suggesting that it can benefit patients with conditions ranging from cancer to arthritis to multiple sclerosis (MS). Chlorophyll can’t hurt, but it isn’t an immune booster, and I don’t know of any research suggesting that it helps patients with MS.
Unfortunately, we know little about what causes MS and what factors influence its progression and outcome. It begins with localized inflammatory damage to the myelin sheaths surrounding nerve fibers due to an attack by the immune system. This interferes with nerve impulses and can lead to symptoms such as muscle weakness, loss of vision, and a variety of other impairments.
A drug called beta-interferon has become the conventional treatment for MS patients. While it can slow the progression of the disease, it is expensive and produces unpleasant side effects. Whether or not you take beta-interferon, you can try to influence the course of the disease with the stress reduction, mind/body treatments and lifestyle changes recommended below:
Andrew Weil, M.D
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