Q. "I was wondering if anyone had any knowledge of a supplement called Protandim which supposedly reduces oxidative stress and if anyone is using this for MS as a stand alone therapy or in conjunction with a traditional MS drug - I was asked about this recently and I do not have enough info to answer this correctly - thoughts? Thanks."
Answer: Protandim is a mixture of 5 herbal ingredients, which are strong activators of the Nrf2 anti-oxidant pathway. The company that makes this product has been promoting it heavily for MS since one of the potential effects of Tecfidera (dimethylfumarate), a recently approved treatment for MS, is activation of the Nrf2 pathway. It should be mentioned that there are many naturally occuring activators of the Nrf2 pathway and there is no good evidence that this is the main mechanism of action of Tecfidera. Unfortunately, there are no controlled clinical studies to support the claims of efficacy for protandim in MS and these studies are not even required by the FDA since the product is an herbal supplement. MS patients interested in supplementing their current therapeutic approach to MS may want to consider supplementation with tumeric, milk thistle and green tea, the main ingredients of Protandim. This would be a rationale, low cost approach to supplementation.
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