Posted By: CustomVite Nutrition Team Date: June 3, 2019 Comments: 0

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, degenerative, neurological condition whereby the body attacks it’s own nerves. Although symptoms may vary for each individual (depending on which nerves are involved), some of the most common symptoms include muscle weakness, numbness, impaired balance, and fatigue.  Although there is currently no cure for MS, diet and nutritional supplements may provide some promising complimentary relief for MS symptoms.

 

Diet

  • Saturated Fat – Limit your intake of saturated fat (e.g. red meats) as it is often associated with inflammation and poor MS outcomes. One well-known study that followed MS patients for 34 years showed that those who stuck with a strict, low fat diet (less than 20g/day) showed significantly less disability and had lower mortality rates than those who did not follow the diet.
  • Fruits & Vegetables – A low-fat, plant-based diet is currently being investigated as a potential strategy to manage fatigue in MS patients. A high intake of fresh fruits and vegetables, especially leafy greens, is associated with a reduced level of MS symptoms
  • Sodium – It is recommend that MS patients limit sodium intake since high sodium intake is associated with increased disease activity
  • Grains – There seems to be increasing interest in a grain-free (Paleo) diet in relation to MS, but most of these reports are based upon anecdotal evidence. Clinical research shows that there is still not enough concrete evidence supporting whether or not gluten plays a role in MS symptoms.  However, a gluten free diet should be followed if you have been tested positive for gluten antibodies.

 

Nutritional Supplements

  • Vitamin B12 – A B12 deficiency is sometimes associated with MS due to its key role in central nervous system function.
  • Vitamin D – High concentrations of vitamin D in your blood may decrease the risk of MS symptom relapses and new lesions.
  • EPA/DHA (fish oil) – Depression is common amongst those who suffer with MS, affecting 50-60% of cases. Some studies report an improvement in depression when omega-3 fatty acid supplements are given, along with prescription medication, where appropriate.

 

 

 

References:

(1) Bagur et al. (2017). Influence of diet in multiple sclerosis: A Systematic Review. Advances in Nutrition, 8(3): 463-472.

(2) Farez et al. (2015). Sodium intake is associated with an increased disease activity in multiple sclerosis. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry 86 (1): 26-31.

(3) Greger, M. (2014, July 22). How to Treat Multiple Sclerosis With Diet. Retrieved from https://nutritionfacts.org/2014/07/22/how-to-treat-multiple-sclerosis-with-diet/

(4) Jelinek et al. (2013). Association of fish consumption and Omega 3 supplementation with quality of life, disability and disease activity in an international cohort of people with multiple sclerosis. The International Journal of Neuroscience, 123(11): 792-800.

(5) Multiple Sclerosis. (2018, December). Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/a_to_z/multiple-sclerosis-a-to-z

(6) Sand, I, K. (2017). The role of diet in multiple sclerosis: Mechanistic connections and current evidence. Current Nutrition Reports, 7(3): 150-160.

(7) Shinto et al. (2016). Omega-3 fatty acids for depression in multiple sclerosis: A randomized pilot study. PLoS One, 11(1) doi: 10.1371.

(8) Thomsen HL et al (2019). The role of gluten in multiple sclerosis: A systematic review. Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders, 27: 156-163.

(9) Wartian Smith, P. (2008). What you must know about vitamins, minerals, herbs & more. Garden City Park, NY: Square One Publishers.

(10) Yadav et al. (2016). Low-fat, plant based diet in multiple sclerosis: A randomized controlled trial. Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders 9: 80-90.


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