Here we have another scientific evidence that an appropriate diet can protect you from a certain brain disease. A recent study provides evidence that the combination of dietary isoflavones and certain gut bacteria, which are able to break down these isoflavones, might be a potential treatment for Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
Knowing that people with MS are lacking the specific gut bacteria for metabolizing the plant-based dietary substances isoflavones, the researchers compared the effects of an isoflavone diet and an isoflavone-free diet on disease in the mouse model of MS. They found that the bacteria that are lacking in patients with MS were able to suppress inflammation in a mouse model of MS and therefore to provide the disease protection.
Importantly, the isoflavone diet was only protective when the mice had gut microbes capable of breaking down the isoflavones. When the team put the mice on the isoflavone diet but removed the isoflavone-metabolizing gut bacteria, the isoflavone diet was no longer able to protect against MS-like symptoms. When the bacteria were reintroduced, the protective effect of the isoflavone diet was restored.
In addition, the researchers discovered that a specific isoflavone metabolite called equol, which is produced by the gut bacteria from isoflavone, is also able to provide protection against disease.
Dietary isoflavones can be found f.e. in soy products, red clover, green tea, split peas, pigeon peas, peanuts, chickpeas, lima beans, fava beans, lentils and flaxseeds. They resemble estrogen, which can protect against MS, at lease in mouse models.
It is worth trying the isoflavone diet, if you have a risk of MS. But please remember, that MS is a complex disease that involves both genetic and environmental factors, where diet is only one of them.
Curious? HERE is the source