Beth, could you provide a reference for the MS study so that I could see more of the details?
In my case, my wife and I both started low carb diets at the beginning of the month. Both of us have neurological issues, in her case secondary progressive MS and for me it is WED and migraines. She is eating a diet based on 25 g of carb/day and I have a 50 g limit. Her primary justification is an attempt a weight loss and my diet is one that has been researched for endurance athletes. We have lots of veggies and replace the carbs with various forms of fat. The key is the mixture and selection of sources of the proper kinds of fat.
After one month, I do not think that the diet has had any impact on my WED. When I get breakthroughs of my current medications, the WED symptoms are generally as bad or worse than before. However, I have seen a dramatic improvement with my migraines. I have gone from 1/week to 1/month, which is reason enough to keep avoiding all the sweets that still are sitting in the cupboard.
Finally, I started this with the goal of changing my diet to boost my abilities for distance running. The idea is that by being in ketosis I will avoid hitting "The Wall" in runs over 20 miles.
Wow, I've been "gone" a long time. My apologies! The study is free, which is nice; the reference is J Altern Complement Med. 2010 Dec;16(12):1343-9. doi: 10.1089/acm.2010.0080 "Rehabilitation with neuromuscular electrical stimulation leads to functional gains in ambulation in patients with secondary progressive and primary progressive multiple sclerosis: a case series report" by Wahls, Reese, Kaplan and Darling. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21138391
One of the keys to the Wahls diet is getting the right amount and mixture of veggies. Since everything you eat should be nutrient-dense, most fruits are out. Berries are OK. Your 9 cups a days have to consist of 3 of leafy green, 3 of anti-oxidant-rich brightly colored veg (and berries), and 3 of sulfur-bearing veggies (cruciferous, garlic, mushroom). It is amazing how much vegetable matter this is.
She gets this amount from the American FDA's recommended daily intake of known nutrients, and published amounts of various nutrients in various foods. The assumption that the FDA have it right bothers me. But the approach is interesting. The theory is that we need those FDA-deciphered amounts to do all our required bodily chemistry, and if we lack them, our bodies take short-cuts that produce toxins, or leave things undone, or rob from the liver to feed the heart, so to speak; all of which causes problems if it continues over time and especially if it combines with genetic predispositions to disease and environmental stressors.
Is your wife is eating that much veggies? It might be important. The diet has been really good for my WED - more on that in my next post.
If you have any room left after eating the required veg and meat, then you can fill up on bananas and apples and other foods which are not nutrient-dense. (But never sugar).
Another key to the Wahls diet is no consumption of processed foods, and I think her reasons are that a lot of the nutirents have been destroyed plus additives with uncertain effect.
From the description of ketosis in her book, you are not likely to achieve it while still consuming 50g carb daily. There is a home urine test kit you can buy at a pharmacy to check if you're in ketosis (it was designed for diabetics).