Individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS) often use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). However, specific CAM therapies used within this population have not been thoroughly described, particularly the use of supplements, herbal remedies, and dietary modifications. The aim of this pilot study was to determine the prevalence of specific types of CAM used by adults with MS in the United States. Participants included adults who were diagnosed with MS at least 1 year prior to study enrollment. CAM use was measured using the CAM Supplement of the National Health Interview Survey, and nutrient intake was assessed using an Automated Self-Administered 24-h Recall. This study found that a majority (77 %, n = 27) of the sample used CAM within the past 12 months, the most prevalent type being vitamins/minerals (88.9 %, n = 24), nonvitamin, nonmineral, natural products (NP) (44.4 %, n = 12), relaxation techniques (33.3 %, n = 9), and special diets (29.6 %, n = 8). Regarding diet, median percent calories from fat (37 %) and saturated fat (12 %) were higher than current recommendations, while dietary fibre intake met only 87 % of the adequate intake. Participants following the Paleo (7.4 %, n = 2) diet did not meet the Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) for vitamins D and E, while those on the Swank diet (7.4 %, n = 2) were below the EAR for vitamins C, A, E, and folate. The results support previous findings that CAM therapies are commonly used by individuals with MS. Inadequate intakes of certain vitamins and minerals by those following the Swank and Paleo diet suggest these diets may be too restrictive.
Unfortunately there is seldom proper evidence to support their use.
In contrast to a pharmaceutical story, with a nutriceutical you seldom need to provide proof it does something. This is the manta of the Pot Docs who will prescribe cannabis for so many conditions.
So whilst the FDA are struggling to accept that Sativex is of any use for MSers, the States are surrendering to medical marijuana initiatives bit by bit, without any real evidence for efficacy .
There are loads of varieties of cannabis with weird and wonderful names, but it can be any old rubbish named to help get that old pot off the shelve. This can be seen when the content is analysed.
In the States, medical pot contains on average 12% THC and less than 1% cannabidiol, so no where near to the 1:1 mix in Sativex, and taylor-made to get the user high. So if these strains bring benefit the question is what does the CBD do? An angle to make the product different from synthetic THC?
Then there is the cost. NICE in the UK are still muttering about the cost v benefit. Medicinal pot in USA is going to be a fraction of the cost where will people go to get their stuff from?