One day you're feeling swell... and the next you're overcome with fatigue, numbness, and pain.
When you've got multiple sclerosis (MS), it seems like the only certainty is uncertainty.
You never know when a flare-up will strike!
And to make matters worse, we don't know exactly what sets off this neurodegenerative disease -- or how to cure it.
But according to a new study, there's one CONSTANT you can add to your life -- or rather, to your dinner plate -- that puts the brakes on MS.
And it's a rather tasty one, too.
I'm talking about FISH.
In the study, which was recently presented at a meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, researchers looked at the dietary habits of about 1,100 people, half of whom had MS or an early hallmark of the disease called "clinically isolated syndrome."
And something really fascinating emerged about the biggest fish eaters: Those who ate fish at least once a week were 45 percent less likely to develop full-blown MS than those who ate less fish.
That means that they cut their MS risk nearly in HALF just by enjoying a weekly seafood meal!
And the same reduction in risk held true for those who ate slightly less fish -- one to three times a month -- but who supplemented with fish oil.
The theory is that the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish (especially fatty fish like salmon and mackerel) -- called DHA and EPA -- have a protective effect that tamps down inflammation.
You see, even though we don't know what gets the ball rolling on MS, we do know that its symptoms are caused by an immune system that’s gone haywire and started attacking the nervous system as it would an infection.
And that immune response sets off inflammation that may not quit, wreaking havoc on your nerve cells and saddling you with everything from walking difficulties to brain fog.
But the omega-3s in fish are such potent anti-inflammatories that they can put out these flames... and put the kibosh on MS in the process. They’ve even been shown to beat back heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer's disease!
So, why not serve yourself more "fruits of the sea"?
Fish are delicious baked, steamed, or grilled. Just stay away from fried fish and those breaded sticks and sandwiches.
Choose wild-caught varieties, which will have higher levels of omega-3s than farmed fish.
But if you're just not partial to the taste, fish-oil supplements are widely available at health food stores and online.
And if you're looking to ease the symptoms of MS, studies have shown that vitamin D and the "sleep hormone" melatonin can both tame flare-ups.