Diet may offer MS patients cognitive protection
Closely following a Mediterranean diet may help reduce cognitive problems in people with multiple sclerosis (MS), a study has found.
The Mediterranean diet avoids or includes a very low amount of unhealthy saturated fat, dairy products, processed sugar and red meat. It focuses on a high consumption of vegetables and fruit, fish, and healthy fats such as olive oil.
The study was on 563 people with MS. Of these, 108 (19%) had cognitive impairment. Patients who followed the Mediterranean diet closely had a 20% lower risk of cognitive impairment than those who didn’t eat the diet.
Of the patients whose diets least resembled the Mediterranean diet, 34% had cognitive impairment, compared with 13% of people whose diets most closely adhered.
This association between diet and cognitive impairment was stronger in patients with progressive MS, rather than relapsing-remitting.
The study’s authors said the results were the same when they adjusted for other factors potentially impacting cognitive function, such as body mass index, socioeconomic status, smoking, blood pressure and exercise.
To find out more about how diet affects MS, check out our Diets and Supplements Choices booklet today.