Treating Multiple Sclerosis With the Swank MS Diet

Treating Multiple Sclerosis With the Swank MS Diet

[Music] multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable and frightening degenerative autoimmune inflammatory disease of the central nervous system in which our body attacks our own nerves it often strikes in the prime of life and can cause symptoms in the brain cognitive impairment in the eye painful loss of vision tremor weakness loss of bladder control pain and fatigue the most frequently prescribed drug for multiple sclerosis is beta interferon which can make you feel lousy and cost $30,000 a year but hey it might be worthwhile if it actually worked we learned last year that it doesn’t seem to prevent a delay long term disability that leaves chemo drugs like mydas and Rome that causes irreversible heart damage and one out of every eight people go on the drug and treatment related acute leukemia it causes leukemia in nearly 1% of people who take it but hey MS is no walk in the park if only there was a cheap simple safe side-effect free solution that also just so happened to be the most effective treatment for MS ever described dr. Roy Swank we lost at age 99 was distinguished neurologist whose research culminated over 170 scientific papers let’s look at a few as far back as 1950 we knew that there were areas in the world that had a lot of MS North America Europe and other places African Asia that hardly had any and now we have all these migration studies showing that if you move from a high risk area to low risk area risk drops and vice versa so it seemed less genetics and more lifestyle dr. Swank had an idea as he recounted an interview with dr. John McDougall at the ripe young age of 84 it seemed possible to be could be a matter of food because further north you go though they’re less vegetarian life is led and the more people hurt the carnivores you might say they spend a lot more time eating meat after looking at the multiple sclerosis data from World War two and occupied countries where meat and dairy were rationed and his famous study in 52 finding the frequency of MS directly related to the amount of saturated animal fat consumed daily in different areas of Norway he concluded it might be the animal fat so he decided to put it to the test by restricting people’s intake of saturated animal fat here’s his first 47 patients before cutting out about 90% of saturated fat from their diet in here’s after showing a decrease in both the frequency and severity of MS attacks normally you’re lucky if you get people to stick to a diet for six months and so that’s why most dietary trials last a year at the most this is reporting results from the first three and a half years then came the five and a half year follow-up he adds another hundred patients then the seven year follow-up published in the annals of internal medicine then the 20 year follow-up the 34 year follow-up how did they do if you can get people early in their disease when they’re only mildly disabled and restrict their saturated fat intake dr. Swank showed he could stop their disease in 95% of cases no further disability thirty four years later but if they started slacking on their diet even years in their disease could become reactivated they it felt so great they were like hey I can cheat a little bit I got this disease under control but eating just eight grams of saturated fat more day was accompanied by striking increase in disability and nearly tripling the death rate how about a 50-year follow-up they were able to track down 15 in the original patients that stuck to the diet now in their 70s and 80s with multiple sclerosis for over 50 years and 13 out of 15 were walking around normal in all respects they were active and evidently unusually youthful looking conclusion this study indicated that in all probability ms is caused largely by consumption of saturated animal fat he thought it was the sludging of the blood caused by even a single meal of saturated fats that can clog tiny capillaries that feed our nervous system see diets rich in saturated fat cholesterol can thicken the blood and make our red cell sticky a single meal sausage and eggs can stick our blood cells together like rolls of quarters and this kind of hyper aggregation can lead to a reduction in blood flow and oxygenation of our tissues if you put someone’s blood through a machine that sucks out about 90% of the cluster on their blood you can demonstrate an immediate improvement in micro circulation in the heart muscle but what about the brain eyes are the windows to your brain you can visualize in real-time changes in blood vessel function in the retina at the back of the eye which gives you a sense of what’s happening further back in the brain and if you lower the cholesterol level in the blood you can immediately get a significant improvement in vasodilation of the little veins open wider and let the blood flow so yes it could be the saturated fat leading to clogging of our capillaries but now we know animal fats can have all sorts of other deleterious effects such as inflammation so who knows what the actual mechanism may be by which cutting animal fat can cut ms progression regardless patients with MS that follow a diet diet with no more than 10 or 15 grams of saturated fat can expect to survive and thrive to a ripe old age of course that’s cutting out saturated fat completely might be better given that you know heart disease is our number one killer the bottom line is that the results dr. Swank published remain the most effective treatment of multiple sclerosis ever reported in the peer-reviewed medical literature in patients with early-stage MS 95% were without progression of their disease 34 years later after adopting his low saturated fat dietary program even patients with initially advanced disease showed significant benefit to date no medication or invasive procedures ever even come close to demonstrating such success doesn’t cost $30,000 doesn’t give you leukemia and works better of course this all begs one big obvious question if dr. Swank’s results are so stunningly impressive why haven’t other physicians neurologists or centers adopted this method of treatment good question one reason may be that MRI machines weren’t invented until the 1970s MRIs are how we track the progress of MS today we don’t have to rely on patient’s subjective reports or doctors clinical judgments we can see the disease get better or worse right there in black and white it’s like in the 1970s when Nathan Pritikin appeared to reverse heart disease by the thousands but no one took him seriously until angiography was invented and the likes of Ornish and Esselstyn could hold up images like this proving conclusively that a plant-based diet could literally open up arteries right there in black and white so what we need is someone to repeat Swank’s experiments today with MRI scans every step of the way and I’m happy to report that exact experiment was just completed by dr. John McDougall dr. Swank was one of dr. MacDougall’s medical mentors and dr. mcdougal is one of my study enrollment was completed last year and we should have the results sometime soon [Music] you


  • Steven Froese says:

    It's still amazing that many people are so resistant to changing their lifestyle, they would rather live in a fantasy world and suffer.

  • Betsy Cosmos says:

    Not just survive, but thrive! That's what a plant-based, whole grain diet can provide for all of us. There are now so many, many heroes of medicine we can go to for information…T. Colin Campbell (author of The China Study and Whole), Dr. John McDougall and, yes, YOU, our wonderful Dr. Greger!! Thanks so much 🙂

  • karen liliacfestival says:

    make sure and supplement him with b12

  • Stephanie Kim says:

    amazing…. just amazing

  • NuclearNympho says:


  • Wildist says:

    I would point out that you could eat a sirloin steak, 2 eggs, one chicken breast and one salmon fillet every day and you'd be hitting 20 grams of saturated fat. Hardly a 'plant based' or 'vegan' diet'. I suspect the patients were eating fast food which has a lot more saturated fat than whole food sources. It's a big jump to go from 20 grams of saturated fat to saying all MS patients should go vegan as Dr McDougall will no doubt suggest.

  • Brin Neville says:

    You might want to view his videos on eggs, chicken and dairy before you decide to go vegetarian. You might want to consider vegan instead. All fruit and veg have all the protein, calcium etc that we need. It is amazing how much misinformation we have been fed.

  • seo2317 says:

    I am in complete agreement! I wish everyone would heed your simple, yet powerful advice!

  • Marcus Simpson says:

    Beautiful. Looking fwd to the follow up. Extraordinary discussion.

  • Eric Engen says:

    @brianv00 the swank diet consists of no more than 15 grams saturated fat… not 20.

    plus total grams of fat should not exceed 50 grams.

    The foods you described would get you to around 15 saturated and 50 total. Total Calories would be ~1400.

  • Jeremy Bieber says:

    Can't wait for the results!!

  • Todd LaCasse says:

    I can't comment on the video, I'm having PC issues at the moment, but I was looking for a place to comment on what was working for me.  I was diagnosed 10+years ago.  I suffered for the first five, took injectable drugs and slowly researched on my own.  About five years ago, my Neurologist told me after looking at my latest MRI that I had progressed to the secondary progressive stage.  I went on a new diet of my own choosing and ditched my drugs and my Neuro.  I haven't had a problem since.  I am extremely mistrustful of the capitalistic medical complex.  I firmly believe my Neuro knows no more about my condition than I do.  Once I accepted the fact that I was my own best advocate I gave up dairy and gluten.  That's all it has taken for me to be symptom free.  It makes sense as I became lactose intolerant at about 25y/o, a few years before MS showed up.  Another benefit of gluten free is you also avoid more GMO ingredients.  I eat Gorilla munch (corn) for breakfast.  It's organic and therefore GMO free.  I try my best to eat my fruits and vegetables throughout the rest of the day.  No supplements or other difficult changes have been required.  I still eat at restaurants 4-5 times per week.  I still eat too much candy(sugar).  The modern American diet is ruthless.  Tweak yours until you find the desired results.  I don't feel like I'm missing anything except pizza, but I've taken a liking to a heavily SE Asian based diet in favor of the American/Italian foods that I was eating before.  Also eat a lot at Chipotle (ditch the tortilla for a bowl and skip the cream and cheese).     Good luck. 

  • valnaples says:

    Way to go, Doc! There is a brand new youtube by a woman named Sheena where she discusses reversing her MS with a raw diet! It was uploaded just today! Go plant-strong folks!

  • Michael Crosby says:

    You are wonderful. I love how you put the info right in front of me and then put it all together in a story. 

    I didn't know Dr McDougall was doing this. Exciting.

  • Potato Strong says:

    Amazing, I wish everyone would eat this way for all sorts of reasons.

  • TheBroberts1986 says:

    Thank you Dr. Greger, I will share this with my mother asap..

  • mark31069s says:

    So Eskimos have highest MS rate?

  • Diane Kristy says:

    WOW – looking forward to it!

    Wish I knew what was really GOOD to eat for MS cuz MS stinks!

  • Daniel Thiele says:

    I am more on the ketogenic paleo side of things. Saturated fat is not the problem. The Omega 6 to Omega 3 imbalance which comes from too much sugar, and conventionally fed animals and stuff like that is the problem. Eat veggies and EAT FISH…

  • Zoe Allan says:

    So where are the results?

  • Malik Johnson says:

    Please don't get it mix up with medium chain saturated fat from coconut oil and long chain saturated fat from animal fat. One is healthy for you and other detrimental.

  • wafisherman7 says:

    I have to say the Swank diet sounds good but McDougall could only lower cholesterol in his clinical study. I was diagnosed with MS less than three months ago and started researching what i could do on my own and started the Swank diet, but after seeing the results of a modern study with MRI i must say i believe the people that Swank was treating had some of the many mimics of MS. I also must say that the theory that its caused by infection and genetics makes more sense. 

  • 53kez says:

    I got MS nearly 40 years ago now. I didnt realise it at the time but I was following the Swank approach to living and eating. I became  a vegetarian then fishetarian because firstly, I dont like killing animals  but quickly found that I needed more fish oils in a time when buying fish oils was not so easy in Australian supermarkets. So back to fish eating :-(. I have had MS for these  40 years and recently had an MRI which lead the interpreter of the image (the  radiologist) to comment  that although I hvae  lesions  in the brain, they were  quite faded and indicated that it had not been active  for  about 20 years. That  accords  with my experiences. A couple of  relapses fpr  a  bad balance  problem and  optic neuritis. So I would like to  say to wafisherman7, Mate, you are wrong wrong wrong. I also had a  number of other friends at that time who took the same approach to MS and all had good  results. Like me, some  episodes early, treatment with cortico-steroid programs and then a settling down of inflammation and  no episodes. 

    Listening to the  youtube and glancing over the bits and pieces of Dr Swnk's approach, I was  rather flabbergasted to find that the  people following the  program were said to look years  younger than their age suggests. That is true of me too. I was with one of my  long time friends and we took selfies and she  laughed and  joked that I still looked like I was 16 years old. My ex-students (I was a  teacher) when they saw the  photos said the same thing. It is  not quit  true – I dont actually look 16  but  most people dont  believe me when I say I am 62.

    How come I got onto  this approach without  knowing Dr Swank's name?  A freind of  mine gave me a book by an American naturopath (also a rarity in Australia in those days). She  had obviously heard of Dr Swank!!  It  was s ort of his  program and  this  program she was promoting.  

    I have had  some later years problems and I am starting to see it was  partly because I  let my standards slip. Another  problem was, however, a series of bladder infections which have  left me with a badly spastic  legs and  back. I  would like to hear somone  talk about dealing with the  bladder infection problem from a natural diet and  lifestyle perspective.

  • 77Avadon77 says:

    Have you tried the Oreo-Only diet. It cured my MS

  • 77Avadon77 says:

    You know this is totally bullshit right? I've been a vegetarian for 25 years (Vegan for 4 of it) still got MS. Don't believe all these diets. Just eat healthy and try your best to fight it. The only real way to hinder the disease is to get on a front line medicine, Tsyabri, Tecfedera, etc.

  • Douglas Wilson says:

    Does anybody have some story about ms treatment clinic belgrade?

  • Gabriel H. says:

    Thanks for the good info!!

  • johnny102marvin says:

    Everyone needs to link this video onto their FaceBook page because it might help someone. Spread the news. We can make a difference. And then ask your friends on FaceBook to share this video on their page and on and on. We can change the system.

  • Everlong Raider says:

    I think I have MS… oh well. I'll just have to use this method.

  • George Kafantaris says:

    i never heard of wank diet

  • Alu Aluu says:

    I had MS for 6 years. The day I cut out meat I never had a single MS attack. I have recently cut out eggs and dairy product and I have never in my life felt better. To any MS patients out there THIS WORKS!! Check out Dr John McDougall's videos for more info on the recommended diet

  • Donna McFarland says:

    As someone who was a patient of Dr. Swank's for ten years, I am living, walking, talking, PROOF that his program WORKS!!! I was given "a few good years." Also told I had "in the top third of the worst cases they'd ever seen" and "an uncountable lesion load on your brain". HA!!! Dr. Swank's PROGRAM includes NOT just diet, but an entire lifestyle approach. We've started ( a few other Swank success stories and I) a FB group to teach exactly this time tested (well over 60 years of stopping the progress of the disease in it's tracks) program. If you'd care to join…only those with MS or their caretakers please…go to The Swank MS Diet & Lifestyle group & ask to join! IN 27 plus years, I've had ONE exacerbation, in contrast to having had 5 in six months prior to diagnosis. This is a NON DRUG method…you've got nothing to lose & your LIFE, to regain!

  • Alen Mischael Vukelić says:

    Still don't get it why Dr. Swank's website promotes meat and oil ….. although in smaller quantities.

  • Milagros M. Marcelo says:

    great video but how does this diet differ with the Wahl's Protocol diet for MS and does it work?

  • Amber Belis says:

    Hi, I know this is an old video but I was recently diagnosed. How do I start this treatment?

  • Daniel Bronco says:

    I have heard that coconut oil should help but it is full of saturated fat, how could this be?

  • João Leal says:

    Hey Dr. Michael Greger. Is the McDougall study over? Are there results?

  • Barbara Brand says:

    23 years of MS, 22 on Swank diet, and still fully mobile and active!! Check out to join the Facebook closed group , The Swank MS Diet and Lifestyle. Then check your message request folder to hear from admins. If only everyone knew of this diet!! This video here is a wonderful way to communicate to others, and I thank you!

  • Jeff Remas Photography says:

    Has there been a follow up video on this with the results?

  • Banana Ant says:

    I decided to go whole food vegan in January 2016 after being prescribed tecfedera. It made me sleep 18 hours a day and sucked all the life right out of me. The doctors guilted me in to accepting the drug therapy by saying "dont you think the people with ms for decades wished they had disease modification medicine early on in the diseases progression? ". I decided to give my neurologist the finger 2 weeks after starting the therapy I threw the pills in the bin and decided to take my health in to my own hands. Evey one of my ms symptoms vanished soon after my dietary change and I don't expect them to ever return. I knew I had ms for over 4 years and in that time experienced fatigue, muscle spasm, lower limb weakness, eyes not working in sync, slurred speech and not being able to make sense of written sentences.
    Now I'm as healthy as I have ever been in my life. I cycle and run miles each day because I feel like I have such an abundence of energy. My thoughts are crystal clear and my depression and anxiety that come with feeling you are chronically ill are also gone.

    To people that have been diagnosed with ms: whole foods fruit and vegetables are your salvation! You don't need to be the victim of this horrible disease. This disease is your warning that you are not treating your body very well. If you have read this and blow it off then I hope it will at least be a seed in your mind that will eventually come to fruition.

    Go vegan and live a happy healthy life.
    Best of luck and much love to you on your journey to health, you can do it x

  • gregory reese says:

    This video should be updated to give the results of Dr. McDougall study.

  • Mónica Torres says:

    Can you do an update about this study? Effects of a Low Fat Plant Based Diet in Multiple Sclerosis (MS): Results of a 1- Year Long Randomized Controlled (RC) Study (P6.152)

  • Dr HAMO says:

    I recommend this
    They need money and patients for a 600 patients study.
    Is now an anecdotal and testimonial study? I hope not! A low cost method to treat MS sounds so good.
    What do you think about it?

  • Denis Simic says:

    Thanks for your very interesting post, here are a few more tips for a treatment for ms
    Get pIenty of rest
    Exercising, yoga, tai chi, meditation, deep breathing, hypnosis,
    Use green juice, chloreIIa, spiruIIina, fresh organic fruits and vegetabIes, sunfIower oiIs, evening primrose oiI etc.
    Some things to avoid if you have MS are aIcohoI, dairy products, eggs, margarine, miIk, red meats, sugar, aspartame.
    (l Iearned these and why they work on Denelle Multi Care website).

  • Play Vintage Golf says:

    What about progressive MS, especially for someone who's MS has progressed for years? his studies were for relapses, right?

  • Hawthorne GH says:

    So here's the link to the published completed study after the clinical trial:

    And here's the commentary on it:

    Study got no significant outcomes, but there are many, many caveats working against them… science is tricky. I am hoping these guys can get the money to do a bigger, better study with all new options we have today. Feels good to see people searching for novel ways to help, and this appears to have the potential to be game changing. Even if you have to fight the system to do it… 🙂 Honestly, compared to what we have today, I would not think twice in reccomending this diet to a patient.

  • Jeff Remas Photography says:

    Any update to this?

  • Kathleen Gustafson says:

    Dr Alan MacDonald is finding strong association with bacteria, Lyme bacteria, and also parasitic worms destroying tissue in the brain.

  • Big Broccoli says:

    So, here's a link to the full article on Dr. McDougall's study –, called "Low-fat, plant-based diet in multiple sclerosis: A randomized controlled trial". Unfortunately, it's not what we were hoping to see. While yes, over the one-year study they saw improvements in fatigue levels, what we were really hoping for was the MRI data. Instead, it says"The two groups showed no differences in brain MRI outcomes, number of MS relapses or disability at 12 months." and "While a very-low fat, plant-based diet was well adhered to and tolerated, it resulted in no significant improvement on brain MRI, relapse rate or disability as assessed by EDSS scores in subjects with RRMS over one year. The diet group however showed significant improvements in measures of fatigue, BMI and metabolic biomarkers." It concludes with the suggestion for a longer, larger study. Fingers crossed that Dr. McDougall tries again, as I do believe there is hope for those with MS…and a randomized controlled trial with MRI or other impartial measurement of reversal is critical in widespread acceptance and adoption of a low fat diet as a treatment for MS.

  • Georganne Collett says:

    Its now 2018….dr gregor what were the results of mcdougalls study…re MS?…. Do you know?

  • Steve T says:

    Another great lesson about the power of our diet. For anyone reading this that has MS or know someone with MS, there is another doctor, Dr. Stancic, who developed MS in her late 20's but now lives symptom free. She has several youtube videos as well.

  • Shari T says:

    Amazing!! Thanks for publishing! What tremendous hope for people afflicted!

  • Stories Unwritten says:

    My family just won’t listen….

  • Health Mind & More says:

    What about coconut oil & coconut flesh ?

  • Jeremiah Alphonsus says:

    Apparently McDougall’s study was a failure.

  • Juraj Bohunický says:

    Hi, Do you have any updates on that research? "Low-fat diet and multiple sclerosis (MS)" It would be interesting to see the results.

  • Health Mind & More says:

    Are avocados still bad ?

  • queertales says:

    Have there been done similar trials for MND patients?

  • Locker72 says:

    I think you can stop with this diet the progression of the disease and keep it as quite as possible but if you have old lesions you can’t completely recover them. At least is what I have experienced.

  • mike rusch says:

    I thought I had MS I have brain lesions and spine
    I just started vitamin regimen including b12 and it turns out I have a metabolic problem that’s genetic where my body doesn’t uptake vitamin b starving the blood of oxygen and killing my body
    If you think you might have MS try complex B 12 for a week and see what happens
    My bad eye was the first sign that I was going in the right direction then my drop left foot started getting better then my left arm and hand started working better my balance got better my tingling started to fade like my limbs are waking up I feel amazing I got my libido back most of all
    My floodgate open I’m all emotional I feel like I’m living again after 5 days on B12 complex
    I hope this helps

  • skulfire92 says:

    Why does the bda advocate against the swank diet

  • Nanny Nan says:

    I have also since 2010 Ms but I do not care I drink and eat what I like and the Ms Can me Licking the ass! Rock the Ms In a good mood! Wuuuuuuuhuuuuuuuu🤘🤘🤘🤘💪💪💪💪

  • Tha G says:

    Medical marijuana works great for me.

  • Dr. Brandon Beaber says:

    Here is my balanced commentary about the modern scientific evidence regarding saturated fat and multiple sclerosis with some inside information about Dr. Roy Swank:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *