Myelin sheath, natural ways to improve, supplement for nerve demyelenation
February 1 2017 by
Ray Sahelian, M.D.

Myelin is an insulating phospholipid layer that surrounds the axons of many neurons. Schwann cells supply the myelin for peripheral neurons while oligodendrocytes supply it to those of the central nervous system.

Fish oils
J Obstet Gynaecol. 2016. Omega-3 prevents myelin degeneration in rat fetuses exposed to radiation. The aim of this study is to investigate the protective effect of antioxidant omega-3 fatty acid (FA) on demyelinisation and degeneration of nerves in central and peripheral nervous systems (CNS and PNS) of rat fetuses. 38 pregnant rats were used. Rats were divided into five groups. Group 1: 7 rats exposed to radiation treatment (RT) for 1 hour/day only; Group 2: 7 rats exposed to RT + Omega-3 FA (p.o.) for 1 hour/day; Group 3: 7 rats exposed to RT for 4 hours/day; Group 4: 7 rats exposed to RT + Omega-3 FA (p.o.) for 4 hours/day; and Group 5: 10 rats with no treatment. Nerve injury was induced by whole-body exposure to 20-μT magnetic field. Omega-3 FA was given orally at a dose of 50 mg/kg. After 18 days, fetuses were delivered by the milking method; CNS and PNS were taken out for pathological examination. The degeneration scores of Group 2 were significantly lower than those of Group 1, whereas the degeneration scores of Group 4 were significantly higher than those of Groups 1 and 3. In conclusion, radiation increases demyelinisation and degeneration of nerves in the rat fetuses' CNS and PNS. Omega-3 FA prevents myelin and nerve degeneration in rat fetuses in low-dose radiation exposure.

Supplements for myelin health
Q. Do you stock or know of a supplement that can help repair worn myelin sheaths and damaged nerves?
   A. I can find very little research on this topic.

Q. Is there a supplement help for nerve demyelination?
   A. As soon as I find more information I will add it to this article.

Q.  I am interested in a product called "Myelin Sheath Support". I would appreciate it if you could inform me regarding the Vitamin D-3 (133IU) contained in this product, what percentage it is of the total ingredients. Also, the percentage of the stearic acid relative to the total ingredients. Please tell me if any of the ingredients are not vegetarian, or if any are derived from dairy.
   A. Myelin Sheath Support is a not a product we are familiar with.

Picroside
BMC Neurosci. 2014 Feb 14. The neuroprotective effect of picroside II via regulating the expression of myelin basic protein after cerebral ischemia injury in rats.

N-Acetylneuraminic acid is found in gangliosides, crucial parts of neuronal membranes found in the brain.

Research
J Neurosci. 2013 Nov 20. Signaling through ERK1/2 controls myelin thickness during myelin repair in the adult central nervous system. Oligodendrocytes, the myelin-forming cells of the CNS, exquisitely tailor the thickness of individual myelin sheaths to the diameter of their target axons to maximize the speed of action potential propagation, thus ensuring proper neuronal connectivity and function. Following demyelinating injuries to the adult CNS, newly formed oligodendrocytes frequently generate new myelin sheaths. Following episodes of demyelination such as those that occur in patients with multiple sclerosis, however, the matching of myelin thickness to axon diameter fails leaving remyelinated axons with thin myelin sheaths potentially compromising function and leaving axons vulnerable to damage. How oligodendrocytes determine the appropriate thickness of myelin for an axon of defined size during repair is unknown and identifying the signals that regulate myelin thickness has obvious therapeutic implications. Here, we show that sustained activation of extracellular-regulated kinases 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) in oligodendrocyte lineage cells results in accelerated myelin repair after injury, and is sufficient for the generation of thick myelin sheaths around remyelinated axons in the adult mouse spinal cord. Our findings suggest a model where ERK1/2 MAP kinase signaling acts as a myelin thickness rheostat that instructs oligodendrocytes to generate axon-appropriate quantities of myelin.